Tourist arrivals to the Western Cape have in the first six months of the year, exceeded pre-pandemic levels. This is according to data from the monthly tourism report, which is compiled by the Western Cape Government’s official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, Wesgro.
Tourist arrivals exceed pre-pandemic levels
The report shows that the tourism sector is continuing to shine in the province as tourist arrivals via air to Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) during the first six months of 2023 have exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
MORE ABOUT: Tourism Performance Report
Additionally, international two-way passengers remained strong between January and June. It reached 1.4 million, which exceeds pre-pandemic levels by 104%. Year-on-year, it grew by 76%.
The sector continues to show remarkable resilience
Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC, Mireille Wenger says, “The tourism and hospitality sector continues to show remarkable resilience and growth in the Western Cape and is cause for celebration.”
She added, “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.”
Here are other highlights from the Wesgro-report:
- 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 largest 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%)
We need to attract more tourists
“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’. More tourists mean more jobs,” Wenger commented.
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The province was also recently lauded with some of its stunning vineyards which have been featured as some of the best in the world.
“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,” Wenger concluded.