The City of Cape Town and Cape Town Tourism (CTT) have implemented new safety measures for tourists with an emergency response app and by establishing standard operational practices for tourist guides.

As part of its TravelWise initiative, which provides visitors with health and safety information, CTT has partnered with safety response app, Namola.

The app pinpoints users’ location and immediately gives them an emergency operator to talk to, offering peace of mind wherever they are.

“Now, more than ever during these uncertain times, travellers and locals alike need to know that, while they are out and about in Cape Town they have quick access to an emergency operator to get help should they need to. As regulations are eased and the tourism engine slowly restarts, we remain committed to ensuring our destination is safe and ready to welcome travellers again,” said ceo of CTT, Enver Duminy.

The app is free to download and simple to use. Should a visitor have any safety concerns or need immediate help, just opening the app and tapping the screen of their smartphone will alert nearby responders.

“As we start to welcome visitors back, the safety of guests and our citizens remains a top priority for us,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Tourism, James Vos. “We facilitate year-round programmes focusing on the prevention of tourist and visitor safety incidents through community, stakeholder and enforcement engagements, and implement the use of technology to ensure a safer Cape Town.”

In another safety development, the City of Cape Town is facilitating the establishment of appropriate health and safety procedures as part of the COVID-19 tourism recovery strategy.

The City has interacted with tourist guides and industry specialists to resolve several issues around the implementation of protocols. These include the measures put in place when a tour group arrives at an attraction and the different measures required for different areas of guiding, for example adventure guiding versus culture guiding.

James said before the finalisation of protocols, more input would be garnered from tourism practitioners via scheduled webinars.

“We are excited to work with industry bodies to help shape the appropriate and practical procedures to be incorporated on a local and national level,” said James.