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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

City in talks with Google to caution visitors on certain areas

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Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says he has been in discussion with international companies providing GPS services, like Google and Waze, in a bid to caution visitors about certain areas in the Mother City.


This after a 55 year old American tourist Walter Fischel was stabbed in the face and robbed in Nyanga on Friday afternoon. Fischel had landed at the airport, exchanged some foreign currency, rented a car and asked his GPS on his phone to direct him to Simon’s Town, where he was going to visit friends.


The GPS however directed him through Nyanga, where he was subsequently targeted.


RELATED: ‘I got shot in the face’ – American tourist’s horror ordeal in Nyanga


In yet another tourist attack, an elderly German couple were attacked along Baden Powell Drive yesterday.


ALSO READ: Elderly German couple robbed and attacked in Cape Town


Hill-Lewis says these companies can use their Artificial Intelligence to pick up when people are in a country for the first time, and tailor messages to visitors on their APPS.


He says the City wants to prevent another situation where a visitor is directed off the N2 from the airport because of traffic, as protecting the tourism industry is vital.


The Mayor says they don’t want a situation where tourists are victims of crime, which will harm the image of Cape Town as a favourable travel destination.


”We want tourists to be safe and leave with nothing but happy memories.”


Hill-Lewis says they are also in talks with car rental companies, to assist all visitors reach their holiday destinations safely.


Cape Town Tourism has also added its voice, urging special caution for visitors following a GPS to get around the Mother City.


CEO Enver Duminy says they were in touch with Fischel to ensure he receives the care and counselling he needs.

“We urge especial caution for visitors following a GPS. Our TravelWise section outlines crime hotspot zones to alert visitors about areas to avoid or enter with caution.”


Duminy has encouraged tourists to make use of Cape Town Tourism’s safety resources, which include:


  1. TravelWise: The TravelWise platform includes a ‘safety in Cape Town’ section, which provides up-to-date safety information, practical tips and emergency contact numbers. CT Tourism also distribute these safety tips in brochures and bookmarks, and Cape Town Tourism regularly does room drops at hotels in hotspot areas.
  2. The Namola App: Cape Town Tourism’s safety response app pinpoints your location, gives you immediate access to an emergency operator, and ensures you receive the help you need, fast and efficiently. It is available to download for free.
  3. The Band-Aid Programme: This programme helps anyone who may be in distress during their stay in Cape Town with replacing lost documents, counselling, assistance with finding emergency accommodation, assistance with laying a charge with SAPs, and contacting banks in the event of bank card fraud. The 24/7 Band-Aid contact number is 021 487 6552.


Cape Town Tourism also remind visitors to:


  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Ask your accommodation establishment or tour operator about areas that should be avoided, especially at night
  •  Keep valuables out of sight, especially jewellery, cell phones and cameras
  • Save emergency numbers on your phone
  • Don’t accept any assistance from anyone at an ATM.
Liesl Smit
Liesl Smit
Liesl is the Smile 90.4FM News Manager. She has been at Smile since 2016, with nearly 20 years experience in the radio industry, including reading news, field reporting and producing. In 2008 she won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award, Western Cape region. liesl@smile904.fm

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