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Western Cape Tourism Sector Surveys the Damage from Recent Storm

Following the extreme weather over the Heritage weekend, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism is hard at work to fully understand the impact of the storm specifically on tourism and hospitality businesses across the province.

“It is vital for us as the Western Cape Government to get as much information we can on the impact of the storm, so we are able to prioritise needs. Which is why I would like to encourage as many tourism and hospitality businesses to participate in the online survey, which we have kept open to ensure as many stakeholders as possible are able to give their inputs.” said provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger.

Tourist attractions can participate by following this link.

Preliminary findings of the survey include:

  • The majority of the responses received are from private businesses (accounting for 91% of responses), while it is clear that state owned attractions such as parks, botanical gardens, resorts and camping sites have also been affected.
  • The five most affected towns (based on responses to date) are Franschhoek (11,81% of respondents), Kleinmond (9,45%), Hermanus (8,66%), Betty’s Bay (7,87%) and McGregor (7,09). The damage sustained was therefore concentrated in the Overberg and Cape Winelands region although damage has also been reported as far afield as George.
  • The affected properties are predominantly accommodation establishments (38% of respondents), restaurants/bars/cafes (19%), wine tourism attractions (8%), trail networks (6%) and retail stores (6%).
  • 44% of respondents indicated that they have insurance cover, however some pointed out that not all damage/ losses sustained are covered. In addition, 26% of respondents are unsure whether they will be covered by insurance. 29% of respondents are not covered.
  • 63% of respondents had to close their businesses temporarily.

Minister Wenger continued, “The tourism and hospitality sector really has been through the wringer over the last few years, but I am heartened by its resilience and unique ability to bounce back. The sheer tenacity of this sector is remarkable – every person and business make a much-needed contribution to our economy and job creation. We need to do all we can to address the storm damage with purpose, so that we can robustly weather any future extreme events.”

“Looking ahead, we are expecting a bumper summer season, with 215 international flights per week into Cape Town International Airport from January 2024, up from 191 in the previous season. To make sure that we are ready to welcome visitors across the province, I will be hosting an industry readiness event later this month, bringing together key stakeholders from the tourism and hospitality sector, to discuss key preparations for upcoming summer, including the impact of and mop up after the storm” concluded Minister Wenger.

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