Responsible tourism is one click away for high school learners

On Wednesday, 15 July 2020, Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, visited Crystal High School in Hanover Park to launch the Virtual Responsible Tourism Programme. This programme aims to enable schools to educate learners on sustainable tourism practices in a creative way.

The Virtual Responsible Tourism Programme is an initiative of the City’s Department of Enterprise and Investment tourism division, which forms part of the City’s recovery plans post COVID-19. A renewed focus on Responsible Tourism will ensure economic growth and stimulate job creation and social upliftment.

‘The programme aims to provide schools offering Tourism as a subject with a practical tool that will enable them to experience the value of responsible tourism.

‘Responsible tourism essentially looks at what needs to be done to create environment-friendly spaces that would attract and encourage people and tourists to come and visit an area, a city or country. In essence, creating better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. For responsible tourism to be adopted successfully, all operators, hoteliers, governments, local people and tourists must take responsibility and action to make tourism more sustainable.

‘The programme will feature key attractions in Cape Town with demonstrated success in responsible and sustainable tourism as part of the programme.  These include the V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain, Two Oceans Aquarium as well as Robben Island. We also hope that this programme will help learners identify key job opportunities within the industry.

‘The programme will also feature in the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) for Grade 10 learners. The 10-minute production features various forms of sustainability from job creation, desalination, economic growth and sustainability,’ said Alderman Vos.

Wendy Solomons, senior education specialist from the Western Cape Education Department, said: ‘We were delighted when the City of Cape Town approached us to assist with a practical school’s programme with key Responsible Tourism practices at every school offering Tourism in the Central district of Cape Town. Due to the practical information being provided, we are confident that it will assist teachers and students in a creative and innovative way.’

Alderman Antonio van der Rheede, Ward 47 Councillor, also welcomed the initiative.

‘I am very happy that this Virtual Responsible Tourism Programme will benefit a school within my ward, because it is a creative way of using technology to expose learners to the endless possibilities within the tourism sector and bring the world into our classrooms. I welcome this initiative and know that our learners and community will benefit greatly from this programme,’ said Alderman van der Rheede.

Alderman Vos said the programme is on par with the current Caps Curriculum offered by South African schools countrywide.

‘The online material will be made available to schools free of charge, and we hope to extend the programme with more examples of demonstrated successes in the near future.

‘By working together and embracing innovation, we can deliver the resources needed by our youth to prepare them to enter the job market. This will lay the foundation that will ensure we emerge from this crisis stronger than before,’ said Alderman Vos.