Travel Agents

Flight Centre throws support behind South African water crisis

Daisy Doctor

Cape Town and the Cape West Coast are currently suffering severe water restrictions and tourists have been told to do their part to assist conservation efforts.

Amid the restrictions, Flight Centre has extended a helping hand, announcing that the Flight Centre Foundation will begin a water donation initiative.

According to FC, the Flight Centre Foundation will be conducting a Cape Town water collection initiative at the Travel Expo at Johannesburg’s TicketPro Dome on 10-11 February.

Every five-litre bottle of water that is donated at the event will receive an entry into a competition that could see the donor win a Mediterranean Cruise.

Andrew Stark, Flight Centre Travel Group MD, said, “We are devastated to see the impact of the drought on Cape Town”.

“As a member of the travel industry which conducts business in Cape Town, we feel compelled to join the effort to create awareness around how to save water and initiate water-saving campaigns such as our water collection competition at Travel Expo.

“So, in some small way, we are helping alleviate the intense pressure Cape Town and its citizens are currently experiencing.”

The Travel Expo is expecting 25,000 visitors to this year’s show, and, according to Flight Centre, if the initiative is successful, it could result in a large water donation for the Cape Town cause.

Flight Centre Foundation will be working in partnership with Gift of the Givers, which will station a truck at the show to transport and distribute the donated water in Cape Town.

The initiative forms part of the Flight Centre Travel Group’s (FCTG) wider campaign to help create awareness of the severe drought in Cape Town and encourage water-wise behaviour among all travellers visiting the Mother City.

Speaking to Travel Weekly about the draught, Martin Edwards, Bench Africa General Manager said: “The drought and resultant water restrictions are pretty much isolated to the City of Cape Town and some surrounding areas.

“All these areas are still open for business and travellers will continue to have fulfilling experiences here.”

“Much like Western Australia this is a very water-scarce part of the world and as such it is vulnerable to periods of drought, therefore tourists need to treat this scarce resource with the utmost respect but continue to enjoy all the highlights that the Western Cape, and the rest of South Africa has to offer.”

Click here to find out everything you need to know about the water restrictions.

Travel Weekly recently reported on the South African water crisis, as the country’s government issued guides to tourists coming into the country on what they can do to save water.

Tourists have been told to, “Save like a local, and keep your usage to under 87-litres a day”.

“You can still have a fantastic holiday without wasting resources, and we ask that you take special care when you visit. We love Cape Town, and we want it to remain a wonderful destination for future generations.”

“While we’re doing all we can to ensure Cape Town remains a world-class destination and your stay is comfortable, there are a few ways this might affect you as a visitor,” said the government.

“Some accommodation establishments have closed their pools, saunas and steam rooms and removed bath plugs, to limit non-essential water use.”

The measures follow almost three years of water shortages, with Cape Town’s rainfall dams currently sitting at just 27 per cent.

In a statement on the situation, South African Tourism said, “Below average rainfall over a number of years has forced everyone who lives in, or visits, Cape Town to rethink how they use water.”

“Responsible consumption of water is the new normal – not just in Cape Town, but in many other water-scarce places in the world.”

“Some parts of the tourism and hospitality industry have proactively adjusted how they utilise water to reduce their consumption – giving guests peace of mind that every drop is being used responsibly.”

“In the event of what the City of Cape Town refers to as ‘Day Zero’, there will be available water for tourists’ and locals’ critical needs.”

“These are considered to be water for personal hygiene and consumption. ‘Day Zero’ is when the City of Cape Town cuts the regular flow of water.”

“‘Day Zero’ is a projected date that is entirely dependent on current rates of water consumption: If all stakeholders adhere to the required water savings target, ‘Day Zero’ can be avoided.”

“Much like locals, tourists need to treat water with the utmost respect.”

Check out the affected areas below:

map


Do you have something to say on this issue? Get in touch with Travel Weekly Editor Daisy Doctor here to share your thoughts.

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