It seems there may be substantial evidence of the negative impact the phrase "Day Zero" has had on tourism in Cape Town.
Associate Director at HVS Africa, Rishabh Thapar, has spoken to Cape Talk's Kieno Kammies about how the term has been interpreted internationally.
The publicity around Day Zero was meant to create awareness among the residents and South Africans of a dire situation we have, but the message that went around the world was very negative, that Cape Town has run of water.— Rishabh Thapar, Associate Director at HVS Africa
Thapar says the impact resulted in a more than 20% drop in new arrivals to the city.
He says with the recent rains that boosted the dam levels, there is a need to market the Cape Town and the province as a water-wise and sustainable tourist destination.
But I think there is a negative perception about Africa and South Africa around the world so we just need to keep in check every time we send a message around the world.— Rishabh Thapar, Associate Director at HVS Africa
Now we need to come back and publicise to the world that Cape town has come back as a resilient city.— Rishabh Thapar, Associate Director at HVS Africa
Thapar says the Cape Town's story could be used as a case study to help others.
He says that hotels and other establishments that went to great efforts to lower their water consumption should be commended.
He also urged residents and establishments to continue with water saving efforts and positive messaging in order to lure visitors back to the city.
To hear the rest of the conversation with Rishabh Thapa, listen below: