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Tourism News South Africa

WCape tourism booms, visitors up 17% at key attractions

The Western Cape tourism industry continues its upward trend, with a 17% increase in visitors to 53 key attractions across the province between January and April 2024 compared to the same period in 2023. This positive news is a boon for the region's economy and job market, according to Western Cape Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger.
Source: 123RF

"These monthly reports from Wesgro, the Western Cape Government's tourism agency, are always encouraging," says Minister Wenger. "The growth in visitor numbers at these key attractions translates to significant benefits and job creation for residents across the province."

Other highlights from the report compiled by the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, Wesgro, include:

The top 5 participating Western Cape attractions with the highest volume of visitors between January and April 2024 were recorded for:

1. Table Mountain National Park (1,176,683)
2. Table Mountain Aerial Cableway (425,515)
3. Table Mountain National Park: Cape of Good Hope (371,620)
4. Table Mountain National Park: Boulders (319,766)
5. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (251,301) (Sources: LTOs and Attractions (2024)).

The top 5 highest year-on-year growth rates for the period January and April 2024 were recorded amongst the Western Cape’s nature/outdoor attractions:

1. Stony Point Eco Venue (383%)
2. De Hoop Nature Reserve (331%)
3. Walker Bay Nature Reserve (224%)
4. Kogelberg Nature Reserve (202%)
5. Swartberg Nature Reserve (169%) (Sources: LTOs and Attractions (2024).

• Total tourist arrivals to Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) via air maintain a positive trend moving into the second quarter of 2024, showing a 13% year-on-year increase between January and April 2024, reaching 405,021 tourists and exceeding the 2019 figure of 350,020 (Source: StatsSA).

• Between January and April 2024, 91% of total air arrivals to Cape Town were from overseas markets and 9% were from the rest of Africa (Source: StatsSA).

• Between January and April 2024, the United Kingdom led as the top overseas air market to Cape Town, with Germany a very close second, followed by the United States of America, Netherlands and France in the rest of the top 5 positions.

• The first four months of 2024 reflected a strong European presence, with 7 out of the top 10 source markets originating from the continent (Source: StatsSA).

• Over the same period, Namibia led as the top air market from Africa to Cape Town, with Zimbabwe in second position. Angola, Kenya and Mozambique followed in the rest of the top 5 positions (Source: StatsSA).

• CTIA’s international terminal saw a 12% year-on-year growth compared to the same period in 2023, with over 1,158,000 two-way passengers moving through the terminal.

• Similarly, the domestic terminal recorded a 12% year-on-year growth compared to the same period in 2023, with over 2,430,000 two-way passengers passing through the domestic terminal (Source: ACSA).

• George Airport recorded 264,571 two-way passengers between January and April 2024. Between January and April 2024, the year-to-date passenger movement recovered by 98% (Source: ACSA).

“Together with Wesgro and our partners across the sector, we are determined to boost this incredible sector. We have just opened applications for the Province’s 2024 Tourism Growth Fund, which will provide project funding to qualifying organisations for tourism development, tourism infrastructure, and tourism product development.

"This will assist businesses to expand their already impressive offerings as well as further develop tourism infrastructure, to support the growth of the number of visitors to the Western Cape.

"Applications remain open until all funds have been allocated and all interested tourism organisations are invited to apply, with more information on our website," continued Minister Wenger.

"The growth in the tourism sector shows promise that the WCG’s ambitious goal set out in our economic action plan, ‘Growth For Jobs’ (G4J), is starting to deliver practical results. G4J aims to double the number of visitors to the province by 2035 to enable a R1t, jobs-rich, inclusive, diverse, and resilient provincial economy that is growing at between 4% and 6% in real terms.

"Together, we can realise this vision across the economy, to lift many more residents from poverty into prosperity," concludes Minister Wenger.

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