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Western Cape tourism and hospitality sector shows strong recovery

Wesgro's latest tourism performance statistics point to a solid recovery for the Western Cape's tourism and hospitality sector. The April 2022 monthly report reflected significant recovery rates at key attractions, with some attractions recording rates of 100% and more.
Source: Sandra Seitamaa via
Source: Sandra Seitamaa via Unsplash

The Western Cape’s tourism and hospitality sector is one of the major job creators in the province, contributing an estimated R15.5bn and supporting 174, 982 direct jobs in 2019.

Key findings:

International and domestic terminal passengers both recovered to over 70% in April 2022, with George Airport passenger rate fully recovered (101%) when compared to April 2019.

Hotel occupancy grew from 37,9% in April 2021 to 52,4% in April 2022, representing a recovery rate of 87% when compared to April 2019.

Visitors to the 27 participating attractions recorded a total of 448,347 in April 2022, a 67% year-on-year growth in the number of visitors and a recovery rate of 61% when compared to April 2019 (734,850).

The top five highest year-on-year growth rates were recorded for Agulhas National Park (+705%), Kogelberg Nature Reserve (+167%), Table Mountain National Park: Boulders (+159%), Robben Island (+145%) and Stony Point (+112%).

Natural attractions, particularly Table Mountain, Cape Point, Hottentots Hollandberge, Knysna Heads and the Southern Tip of Africa were popular amongst both domestic and international tourists.

These indicators point to an impressive recovery in the tourism sector. As global travel remains open and airlines continue to re-open routes to Cape Town, it is likely that tourism will continue on this upward trajectory.

"It’s very encouraging to see that Cape Town and the Western Cape remains a popular destination for international tourists and businesspeople, highlighted by the significant increase in local and international flights recently. We’ve seen a number of routes come online, particularly with increases in frequencies for the upcoming South African summer season.

"Our Cape Town Air Access team has recovered 21 destinations in its route network and we have also seen a significant interest in establishing routes between Cape Town and new markets such as the USA and Belgium. We remain hopeful that there will continue to be an upward trajectory for travel to our destination," says Wrenelle Stander, Wesgro CEO and official spokesperson for Cape Town Air Access.

"It is our job to ensure that this continues, by improving air connectivity to Cape Town, marketing our destination both at home and abroad, and by removing barriers that stand in the way of the growth of this important sector.

"It is precisely with this objective in mind that I intend to leverage our tourism recovery to drive economic growth and job creation in the Western Cape," says Mireille Wenger, provincial minister of finance and economic opportunities.


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