Cape Town is one of the world’s most awarded travel destinations. Many of our residents find employment and training opportunities in this sector, and the direct and indirect contribution to the local economy is significant.
As the tourism industry has evolved and technology has improved, travelers have adopted new ways of planning their trips. Online booking platforms have become widely adopted in the travel sector, facilitating easier access to new markets for hosts, more options for guests, and improved convenience for all.
However, as with most disruptive innovations, there are potentially unintended consequences and undesirable outcomes that need to be managed. The City of Cape Town is committed to delivering inclusive economic growth to its residents, while remaining a globally competitive business city in line with the commitments in our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan.
It is with this in mind that the City is looking at how to guide the evolution of the sharing economy in a way that supports our commitments, beginning with short term letting platforms. We have studied approaches from leading Cities around the world, all of which hold some valuable lessons, but don’t find themselves in the developing economy context as we do.
The City has therefore decided to launch a research survey platform that will allow representatives from all sectors in society to present their view on short-term letting platforms in an attempt to design our approach to this sharing economy phenomenon that will work within our context to enable the realisation of inclusive economic growth and enhance our global reputation. The surveys seek to elicit a balanced response based on analytical data, while also providing an outlet for qualitative reasoning representative of all stakeholders. The user groups we have identified to participate in this survey are residents, property marketers, hoteliers/guest houses, short-term letting hosts, and guests.
The survey platform is live on the City’s website as of today 26 September 2017, and will also be promoted through the City’s various media channels. The timelines for development of a policy/regulation are not yet defined, as this depends on the kind of data that the research reveals.
Some of the questions asked on the survey include whether residents live in a building or neighbourhood that utilises short-term letting, what motivates people to let their properties on a short-term lease, and how many nights in total people have spent in booked short-term accommodation in Cape Town in the past three years.
Members of the public are urged to keep an eye on local media for further details and we encourage all stakeholders to participate actively by sharing their data and insights.