by Greg Penfold

Spring came early this year

Ed's Note

Greg Penfold.jpg


Spring came early this year, with flowers blooming, bees buzzing and birds breeding well ahead of schedule. If such a thing as a schedule exists anymore, when it comes to the weather. Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has exhorted the citizens of the Mother City to get used to a “new normal” of apparently perpetual drought amidst the scenic mountains and wine farms that draw so many tourists to South Africa’s oh-so sunny shores ... Tourists, who get as thirsty (and dirty) as anyone else, and haven’t spent the last year getting used to the “new normal”.

Extreme water scarcity places a responsibility on the shoulders of tourism and hospitality leaders, who must somehow juggle the need to minimise water use with the good time that tourists presumably are out to have.

The Protea chain has a very nice series of notices in its lobbies that clearly delineate, in words and pictures, how tourists may save water. Google it if you need pointers for your own establishment.

That said, it would appear that the notices appear only in English. Given the eclectic provenance of the tourist throngs, this may very well serve to undermine the purpose of these notices. It may be necessary to engage guests more robustly, perhaps by speaking to them.

Whatever your engagement strategy, if you are in tourism and hospitality in the Western Cape, please take the water issue very seriously. As motivation, imagine having to deal with visitors on the hypothetical Day Zero!

 

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