Industry Data Portal

Cape Town’s International Terminal Soars with 1.7 Million Passengers

Two-way passengers through the Cape Town International Airport’s (CTIA) international terminal remained strong between January and August 2023, reaching more than 1.7 million passengers in the year to date, exceeding pre-pandemic levels by 107% and growing by 64% compared to January and August 2022.

Two-way passengers through George Airport reached 511 919 between January and August 2023, representing a 3% year-on-year increase compared to January and August 2022.

This is according to the monthly tourism report, compiled by the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) trade, investment, and tourism promotion agency, Wesgro.

“The tourism and hospitality sector, despite going through very difficult times, keeps bouncing back, showing such grit that pays dividends down the line for so many in the Western Cape,” said provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger.

“The August 2023 monthly tourism report gives us yet more reason to celebrate with impressive increases in tourist to the province between January and August this year, compared to the same period last year,” continued Minister Wenger.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Over 4.3 million two-way passengers passed through the CTIA domestic terminal between January and August 2023, standing at 80% recovery against the same period in 2019 and a y-o-y growth of 12% YTD;
  • Between January and August 2023, Cape Town recorded a total of 562 818 tourist arrivals via air, of which 90% originated from overseas markets and 10% from the African continent;
  • Total tourist arrivals as well as overseas tourist arrivals via air remained at full recovery in August 2023 YTD vs. January – August 2019;
  • UK led as the top source market to Cape Town (via air) between January and August 2023, closely followed by the USA, Germany, Netherlands and France in the top 5 positions;
  • Footfall to 36 participating attractions across the six regions of the Western Cape recorded a total of 607 353 visitors in August 2023, a 72% growth in the number of visitors when compared to August 2022; and
  • The top 5 highest year-on-year growth rates in August 2023 were recorded for Table Mountain Aerial Cableway (856%), Table Mountain National Park (100%), Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area (96%), West Coast National Park (89%) and Harold Porter National Botanical Garden (88%). The high year-on-year increase for Table Mountain Aerial Cableway was largely due to the closure period in August 2022 for annual maintenance.

Minister Wenger went on to say that, “Three weeks ago, we celebrated the impressive contribution the Air Access team, powered by Wesgro, made to increasing air connectivity into the Western Cape, boosting inclusive economic growth and job creation in the province, with the news that in 2022 alone, the arrival of 605 000 foreign passengers via air injected R24.3 billion into the Western Cape economy in supporting 10 600 jobs. This week we celebrated that news that between November 2022 and May of 2023, the Western Cape welcomed the greatest number of cruise ships ever, generating an estimated R1.2 billion for our provincial economy, creating roughly 1 800 local jobs.”

“It is encouraging to see continued growth in tourism and hospitality – a major job-creating sector. This bodes well for the upcoming summer peak season, and now is the time to prepare to roll-out the red carpet for our visitors from all over South Africa, and indeed the world,” concluded Minister Wenger.

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