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Top Source Markets Revealed and the UK Leads Tourist Arrivals to Cape Town in 2023

The United Kingdom led as the top source market to Cape Town (via air) between January and June 2023, closely followed by USA, Germany, Netherlands and France in the top 5 positions.

The tourism sector continues to shine in the Western Cape, with tourist arrivals via air to Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) in the first six months of 2023, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. 

In addition, international two-way passengers remained strong between January and June 2023, reaching 1.4 million, exceeding pre-pandemic levels by 104% and growing by 76% year-on-year.

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

“The tourism and hospitality sector continues to show remarkable resilience and growth in the Western Cape and is cause for celebration. Despite suffering greatly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to see that we have moved beyond recovery and into growth, contributing to job creation in the province,” said Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • 3.2 million domestic two-way passengers passed through CTIA between January and June 2023, representing a year-on-year growth of 9%;
  • George Airport two-way passengers reached 374,463 between January and June 2023, a 3% year-on-year increase compared to January to June 2022;
  • Between January and June 2023, 90% of tourist arrivals via air originated from overseas markets and 10% from the African continent;
  • The United Kingdom led as the top source market to Cape Town (via air) between January and June 2023, closely followed by USA, Germany, Netherlands and France in the top 5 positions;
  • The European market remains the most significant contributor to tourist arrivals into Cape Town, with 6 out of the top 10 source markets originating from the continent;
  • Footfall to 24 participating attractions across the six regions of the Western Cape recorded a total of 271,653 visitors in June 2023, a 16% year-on-year growth in the number of visitors when compared to June 2022 and 65% of what it was in June 2019; and 
  • The top 5 highest year-on-year growth rates in June 2023 were recorded for Cape Agulhas Lighthouse (92%), Table Mountain National Park: Boulders (61%), Bontebok National Park (60%), Cango Caves (42%) and Table Mountain National Park: Cape of Good Hope (36%)

Minister Wenger continued: “Attracting more tourists to our destination forms part of one of the Priority Focus Areas of the Western Cape Government’s ambitious new economic action plan, ‘Growth For Jobs’ because more tourists mean more jobs. Recently this objective has received an impressive boost with great publicity generated by our stunning vineyards, which featured in the world’s best.”

“Working with tour stakeholders, including the private sector, we will continue to ensure that the Western Cape remains top of mind for both international and domestic tourists. I look forward to what promises to be another impressive summer season in the province,” concluded Minister Wenger.

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