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Unveiling Cape Town’s Limitless Horizons: A Commitment to Universal Access in Tourism
By Tarryn Tomlinson

A man stands on the left side of the image, gazing off into the distance. He is stylishly dressed in a blue button-up shirt and olive green pants. The majestic Table Mountain looms in the background, beneath a vast, cloud-streaked sky. The foliage of the Cape Floristic Region is prominent, giving a sense of wild beauty. Overlaid on the image are the words "Limitless Cape Town" in a playful, white script, accentuating the theme of boundless adventure and natural grandeur in this South African city.
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Cape Town, the jewel of South Africa, has long been celebrated for its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. As a local deeply connected to this city, I’ve witnessed the remarkable transformation unfolding within the realm of tourism. Cape Town Tourism’s latest initiative, the Limitless campaign, is not just a pledge but a groundbreaking stride toward Universal Access in tourism.

In a city where Table Mountain looms large, casting its shadow on beaches, bustling markets, and historic sites, the commitment to inclusivity is taking center stage. The Limitless campaign embodies a simple yet profound mission – to open the doors of Cape Town’s vibrant tourism offerings to all, regardless of their abilities.

One of the inspiring faces behind this movement is Nqabohlanga ( Winston) Fanie, a 37-year-old father of two and South Africa’s first-ever qualified blind tour guide. Born in Qheberha South Africa, Winston found himself at a crossroads when the economic ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic led to his retrenchment. Faced with the need to provide for his family, Winstons life took an unexpected turn when a friend noticed his exceptional knack for giving directions.

Taking this suggestion to heart, Winston and his friend reached out to Cape Town Tourism for support. The organization not only paid for his studies but also empowered him to become Africa’s pioneer blind tour guide. Reflecting on his journey, Winston declares, “Anything is possible. I’d like to see more persons with disabilities getting out of their comfort zones, challenging themselves to do whatever they put their minds to. I took a chance, and it just got bigger and bigger until it blew up. Now I am living my dream to inspire people like me to go after their dreams.”

Cape Town Tourism’s commitment to Universal Access goes beyond individual success stories. They have outlined an extensive plan to make the city universally accessible over the coming years. Initiatives include city-wide braille touchpoints, social media content with audio options, maps profiling accessible routes, sensitivity and awareness training workshops and audio maps of accessible Cape Town routes.

In a groundbreaking move, I am proud to share that Cape Town Tourism has appointed me, Tarryn Tomlinson, as the first non-executive board member with a visible disability who has knowledge of universal access and design. It is an honour to contribute to the mission of ensuring that the beauty of this city is to be enjoyed by everyone.

Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, emphasizes that the Limitless campaign reflects their dedication to providing accessible and welcoming experiences. The goal is to inspire people to explore new horizons, break barriers  and create unforgettable memories. The appointment of a non-executive board member with a visible disability demonstrates the organization’s commitment to authentic representation and inclusivity at the decision-making level.

I had the privilege of speaking with Nqabohlanga (Winston) about his unique perspective on tourism. When asked about his dream luxury destination, Winston’s response was surprising yet heartwarming. “L.A.,” he said, “Most of my hip-hop music icons live there, and if I go, I want to meet them.”

Winston’s Salt River Street art walking tour offers travellers a distinctive experience – viewing Cape Town through the eyes of a blind person. He challenges the notion that sight comes solely from having eyes, explaining that sight happens through the brain’s imagination and how one thinks. “I can teach them to see the art with their hearts,” he affirms.

For those intrigued by Winston’s unique tours, he can be contacted directly at nqabofani@gmail.com. Use the reference “Able2Travel” to let him know you’re in town, so he and the community can extend a warm Cape Town welcome.

In the heart of this evolving city, Cape Town Tourism’s Limitless campaign is not just a promise but a celebration of diversity, breaking barriers and creating an atmosphere where everyone can revel in the beauty and history of this remarkable destination. The commitment to Universal Access is not just a journey; it’s an invitation to explore Cape Town’s limitless horizons with open hearts and minds. 

 Visit Accessible Cape Townwww.capetown.travel/limitless-cape-town

A group of four people in high spirits posing in front of a vibrant mural. They are dressed in professional attire, with two wearing jackets and ties, and the others in sporty windbreakers. The mural behind them depicts an abstract, nature-inspired scene with green leafy patterns. The group seems to be in a celebratory mood, showing thumbs-up and peace signs to the camera, reflecting a positive and cohesive atmosphere.
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