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Cape Town Tourism Bounces Back: April 2023 Sees Full Recovery in Tourist Arrivals

In April 2023, the share of overseas tourists to Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) reached full recovery when compared to pre-pandemic levels in April 2019.

In the month of April 2023, CTIA recorded a total of 67,747 tourist arrivals via air, 87% of which originated from overseas markets and 13% from the African continent.

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

“I am very pleased that we have reached pre-pandemic levels of tourists to the Western Cape. Our focus now is to move beyond recovery and to focus all efforts on growing the tourism and hospitality sector, because more tourists mean more jobs in the Western Cape.” said Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger.

Minister Wenger continued: “Which is why I am very excited to be welcoming the first direct flight from Eswatini to Cape Town this morning. This new direct route is one of two routes recently secured, the other being from Lusaka, Zambia, to Cape Town.”

Other highlights from the report include:

  • International two-way passengers through CTIA reached 218,325 in April 2023; 39% growth year-on-year and more than full recovery against April 2019 (106% recovery).
  • 574,528 domestic two-way passengers passed through CTIA during April 2023; registering a 7% increase over April 2022 and 80% recovery vs. April 2019.
  • During April 2023, Cape Town recorded a total of 67,747 tourist arrivals via air, of which 87% originated from overseas markets and 13% from the African continent.
  • Overseas tourists to Cape Town reached full recovery when compared to pre-pandemic levels in April 2019.
  • The United Kingdom led as the top source market to Cape Town (via air) between January and April 2023, closely followed by Germany, USA, Netherlands and France in the top 5 positions.
  • The European market remains the largest contributor to tourist arrivals into Cape Town, with 7 out of the top 10 source markets originating from the continent.
  • The cumulative total of tourist arrivals between January and April 2023 reflected full recovery from 6 out of the top 10 source markets to Cape Town (via air), against the same period in 2019 (Jan-Apr cumulatively).
  • These markets included UK (104%), Germany (106%), USA (155%), Netherlands (116%), Canada (105%) and Zimbabwe (170%). In addition, Belgium (98%) and Italy (92%) are rapidly nearing full recovery when compared to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Footfall to 24 participating attractions across the six regions of the Western Cape recorded a total of 573,262 visitors in April 2023, a 50% growth in the number of visitors when compared to April 2022 and 91% of what it was in April 2019.
  • The top 5 highest year-on-year growth rates in April 2023 were recorded for Stony Point (194%), Table Mountain Aerial Cableway (67%), Table Mountain National Park: Cape of Good Hope (61%), Cango Caves (57%) and Table Mountain National Park (51%)

“Earlier this week, I congratulated Boschendal wine estate for being rated the most Instagrammed vineyard in the world, beating out other farms in the US, Australia, France, and Spain. Three other vineyards in the Western Cape also featured in the top 30 of the most beautiful vineyards globally, including Tokara, Waterkloof and Spier. As we head into our winter season, I would like to encourage residents to get out, explore and to tag your favourite spots” concluded Minister Wenger.

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