It could be argued that SA’s response to Cape Town’s water crisis has been somewhat reactive – it was only once water restrictions in the city reached level six that any discernible changes were made. While good communication strategies subsequently emerged, the crisis highlighted some valuable lessons about crisis management – most pertinently, the importance of managing communication and addressing a problem early. One of the greatest challenges facing Cape Town through the water crisis has been to keep its tourism industry alive despite disturbing reports of the drought and the countdown to Day Zero – the day the taps, quite literally, would run dry. Thebe Tourism Group marketing manager Judiet Barnes says sending the message that the city would remain open for business was less about changing marketing efforts than it was about changing the message. “We put more impetus on promoting responsible tourism and focused on how trips to the Mother City should not be cancelled, but rath...

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