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13 Mar 2018 Tags: Responsible Hospitality Institute 2018 Sociable City Summit New Orleans Tasso Evangelinos

The CCID’s CEO, Tasso Evangelinos, recently attended the Responsible Hospitality Institute’s (RHI) 2018 Sociable City Summit, held from 18 to 20 February in New Orleans, United States.

Says Tasso: “The summit focused on managing the growing international phenomenon that is the nighttime economy, something which RHI has been driving for a number of years. For a first-timer such as myself, it was amazing to be in a space with around 200 like-minded individuals who are all nighttime practitioners, and to engage on how we can deal with some of the issues we face as well as extract and harness value from the nighttime economy. A number of cities are going through many of the same challenges we face at night and there were a lot of practical and tangible discussions at the summit.”

Along with Tasso and colleague Muneeb Hendricks (manager of CCID Safety & Security), representing Cape Town, other cities’ representatives included Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, Toronto and numerous cities in North America.

“We were the only representatives to attend on behalf of an African City and we were well-received by our international counterparts who were very keen to have Cape Town on board. It was wonderful to note that Cape Town has a good reputation abroad, and delegates seemed well-informed about our activities and how far we’ve come as a city in applying international best practices.”

Commenting on his impressions of New Orleans, Tasso, says: “It’s a celebration of life. Music and food is everywhere. And the city has policies in place to manage the nighttime economy in a way that really adds value to the City. New Orleans is also very walkable with lots of pedestrians.

“I would like to encourage other South African cities to actively participate in the RHI initiative and become part of a network geared towards exploring the contribution that nighttime economies provide and the value they add to an entire city.”

On the way forward, Tasso notes: “As the CCID, we are looking at the four building blocks that are critical to managing the nighttime economy, namely, forming alliances, planning for people, ensuring safety and enhancing vibrancy. In the meantime, we’ll be identifying the low-hanging fruit within our own CBD and seeing what we can introduce.

“The first step, though, is to create partnerships as these are critical if tangible benefits are to be extracted from the nighttime economy. Everyone has to work together towards a common vision. That’s why we plan to share some of the lessons learnt from our colleagues abroad with our primary partners at the City and SAPS, and then look at how we as a city improvement district can provide support.”

For more information on New Orleans, read Mo Hendricks’ account on his visit to this city as well as New York City.

Image by the Responsible Hospitality Institute