Industry News

Western Cape Tourism Booms As Minister Urges Travellers to Explore Diverse Offerings

“As we look forward to a busy period in our tourism calendar, I encourage residents of the Western Cape to get out and explore the amazing and diverse experiences on offer. I also encourage South Africans from outside of the province to come and experience the province’s wonderful hospitality. Please remember to travel safely, and to arrive alive at your destination of choice,” said Mireille Wenger, Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities in the Western Cape.

Recent data shows that the Western Cape’s tourism and hospitality continues to record an impressive recovery.

“Looking back on our tourism performance in February of this year, I am thrilled to confirm that international two-way passengers through Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) reached 258 970 in February 2023, representing a full recovery when compared to 2019, reaching 100%.” continued Minister Wenger.

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

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Domestic two-way passengers passed through CTIA during February 2023 reached 507 787, representing a recovery of 72% compared to February 2019;
  • George Airport recorded 59,184 two-way passengers in February 2023 and recovered by 88% when compared to the performance in February 2019;
  • In February 2023, Cape Town recorded a total of 101,444 tourist arrivals via air, of which 92% originated from overseas markets and 8% from the African continent;
  • In February 2023, Cape Town recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals from overseas markets (93,720) out of South Africa’s three key airports; Cape Town International Airport, OR Tambo and King Shaka, according to data released by Statistics South Africa;
  • The United Kingdom was the top source market to Cape Town via air in February 2023, closely followed by Germany, USA, Netherlands, and France, ranking in the top 5 positions;
  • 8 out of the top 10 source markets to Cape Town via air fully recovered for January and February 2023 (cumulatively) compared to the same period in 2019. These markets included the UK (106%), Germany (111%), USA (163%), Netherlands (120%), Canada (108%), Belgium (120%), Italy (104%) and Zimbabwe (148%);
  • Footfall at 21 participating attractions across the six regions of the Western Cape recorded a total of 529,622 visitors in February 2023, a 90% growth in the number of visitors when compared to February 2022 and 80% of what it was in February 2019; and
  • The top 5 highest year-on-year growth rates in February 2023 were recorded for Viljoensdrift River Cruise (697%), Cango Caves (175), Robben Island (124%), Table Mountain National Park: Boulders (123%) and Table Mountain National Park: Cape of Good Hope (117).

Minister Wenger said: “There are also so many exciting events planned across the Western Cape such as the Two Oceans Marathon, the Cape Town Surf Pro, the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in Oudtshoorn, and the Rare Plant Fare in Stellenbosch. This adds to our destination’s compelling offer for visitors from at home and abroad.” 

“The tourism sector continues to shine. This is such great news considering the devasting impact the global Covid-19 pandemic had on the industry. We will continue to work with all stakeholders across this impressive sector to ensure that it continues to go from strength to strength, supporting thousands of jobs and contributing to our provincial economy.” concluded Minister Wenger.

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