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October Tourism Report: Two-way passengers through the CTIA international terminal, surpass 2 million between Jan and Oct 2023, growing by 57%

Two-way passengers through the Cape Town International Airport’s (CTIA) international terminal surpassed 2 million two-way passengers between January and October 2023, exceeding pre-pandemic levels and growing by 57%, when compared to the same period in 2022.

On the domestic front, over 5.5 million two-way passengers passed through the CTIA domestic terminal between January and October 2023 YTD, increasing by 15% compared to the same period in 2022.

Two-way passengers through George Airport reached 645,172 between January and October 2023, a 3% year-on-year increase for the same period in 2022.

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

“We are very excited for the upcoming summer tourism season, which is shaping up to be truly impressive, and possibly even record-breaking as we are expecting 25% more international visitors than last season, exceeding 1 million inbound seats for the first time ever. This is fantastic news for a sector that contributes so much in terms of economic impact and job creation in the Western Cape”, said provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger.

“We have also celebrated the many significant awards that have been streaming in, which include Cape Town being voted as the Greatest City on Earth and South Africa as the greatest County on Earth by the UK’s 2023 Telegraph Travel Awards.  The 36th edition of Conde Nast’s Readers’ Choice Awards, celebrating excellence in the global tourism and hospitality sector, saw 14 out the top 15, or a stunning 93%, of the best hotels in Eastern and Southern Africa according to the same prestigious awards, being based in the Western Cape. When combined with the World Travel Awards Africa also crowning 8 Western Cape-based tourism and hospitality as winners, the province’s reputation as a destination of choice for international tourists has been further entrenched. This also means that we are going to be on many more travellers’ bucket lists, bringing in even more visitors, which ultimately means more jobs and economic opportunities for our residents in the Western Cape” continued Minister Wenger.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • International route highlights include Air France returning with a seasonal non-stop service between Paris and Cape Town from end of October, operating three flights a week until end of March, and increasing to five flights a week between 17 January 2024 and 27 February 2024.
  • The year-to-date total of air arrivals from Africa fully recovered for the first time in October 2023, when compared to the period Jan – Oct 2019.
  • As at October 2023, the cumulative total of USA tourist arrivals to Cape Town (via air) exceeded the UK and led as the top air market to Cape Town between January and October 2023 YTD, with the UK a very close second, followed by Germany, Netherlands and France in the top 5 positions.
  • The European market remains the largest contributor to air arrivals into Cape Town, with 6 out of the top 10 source markets originating from the continent.
  • The cumulative total of tourists between January and October 2023 reflected full recovery from 8 out of the top 10 source markets to Cape Town (via air), against the same period in 2019 (Jan – Oct). These markets included USA (144%), UK (103%), Germany (102%), Netherlands (111%), Italy (109%), India (104%), Canada (103%) and Zimbabwe (186%).
  • Footfall to 35 participating attractions across the six regions of the Western Cape recorded a total of 399,308 visitors in October 2023, a 21% growth in the number of visitors when compared to October 2022.
  • The top 5 highest year-on-year growth rates in October 2023 were recorded for Anysberg Nature Reserve (867%), Stony Point Eco Venue (109%), Walker Bay Nature Reserve (65%), Table Mountain National Park: Boulders (47%) and Table Mountain National Park: Cape of Good Hope (31%).
  • According to the Tourism Sentiment Index rankings for Q3 2023, the Western Cape had a Tourism Sentiment Score of 24.6. This places the Western Cape amongst the top regions in the world with a global rank of #14.
  • The top contributors to the Western Cape’s overall performance were Winery & Vineyards (21%), Restaurants & Dining (16%) and Beaches (12%). Winery & Vineyards ranked amongst the top destinations in the world with a global rank of #6 this quarter.

Minister Wenger went on to say that “We know that tourism is a catalyst of economic growth and job creation. In 2022, for example, for every 100 international tourists visiting the Western cape, 2 local jobs were created.  This is why we continue to work hard, with all stakeholders to remove obstacles to the growth of the sector and to attract as many visitors as possible.

 “At the end of the day, more tourists mean more jobs. I strongly believe that by working together with all stakeholders, toward the same goal of economic growth that leads to prosperity, that we can really make an impact on and improve the lives of our residents. And so, we are looking forward to an epic summer season and are ready to roll out the red carpet to all visitors, international, domestic and locals, to this wonderful province, bringing more prosperity, and the hope for a much better future” concluded Minister Wenger.

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