Western Cape tourism sector is on the up

The Western Cape is reporting a significant increases in arrivals, revenue and airline seats in the past three years according to its mid-term report back, which was announced yesterday (July 27).

The Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, and Wesgro, the Official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, delivered the mid-term report back on the Western Cape’s strategy to grow the tourism sector, known as Project Khulisa.

More than 20 000 jobs have been added and foreign tourist spend increased by R4bn (€263 million) since 2014, totalling R18bn (€1.1 billion) in spend for 2016.
Project Khulisa is a targeted action plan to accelerate growth and jobs in the province’s competitive sectors, including tourism.

“I am pleased to announce that we’ve added 26 000 jobs to the tourism sector, taking us closer to our goal of adding up to 100 000 jobs to the sector by 2019. In line with our objective to position the province as a business destination, we have increased the value of conference bids secured from R280m in 2014, to R425m in the 2016/17 financial year,” said the minister.

He mentioned that this year they have added over 400 000 new two-way international airline seats, totalling 2.6 million in seats. Cape Town International Airport’s (CTIA) performance saw international arrivals increase by 15.7% year-on-year for 2016.

In terms of seasonality, June was still the worst month but the province still saw good year-on-year growth. In 2015, June foreign arrivals were around 60 000, and in 2016 close to 80 000 foreign arrivals came to the Western Cape.

Wesgro’s CEO, Tim Harris said: “The tourism industry has been a critical catalyst for economic growth and job creation in the Western Cape…Through innovative approaches to leisure and business tourism promotion, we have helped minimise the effects of various industry challenges, such as seasonality, keeping the Cape at the forefront of South Africa’s tourism industry.”

Published 27 Jul 2017
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