After two years of a global pandemic and low tourism figures in the province, traveller confidence in the Western Cape has returned. This is according to the city and province’s official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, Wesgro.
From natural attractions such as Table Mountain to the much-loved Cape Winelands and hotels, the figures show that the Western Cape is among the top tourist destinations in South Africa.
Wesgro said the latest tourism figures show that the month of February has shown the highest international terminal numbers since the resumption of international travel in October 2020.
“The start of 2022 has shown a promising return to pre-Covid-19 passenger travel numbers, with February currently showing the highest international terminal numbers since the resumption of international travel in October 2020. A total of 125 861 international passengers and 462 219 domestic passengers returned to Cape Town International Airport, producing recovery rates of 52% and 71%, respectively when compared to the same period in 2019,” they said.
They said hotel occupancy grew from 23% in February 2021 to 60% in February 2022, showing a recovery rate of 75% when compared to February 2019. The rapid growth of 93% in the number of visitors was seen from 27 participating attractions in the province compared to February 2021, and nearly half of what it was in February 2019.
“The Cape Winelands was the most popular region for domestic visitors in February 2022, while Cape Town was more popular with international tourists. Natural attractions such as Table Mountain and Cape Point were popular with both domestic and international tourists,” they said.
On the Stellenbosch Wine Route, Spier Wine Farm was the top-visited farm, with Skilpadvlei and Zevenwacht following as second and third, respectively.
According to Wesgro CEO, Wrenelle Stander, 2022 promises a host of events that cannot be missed thanks to the phenomenal success of the domestic and international tourism campaigns and the extraordinary efforts of all stakeholders and tourism businesses
“We recently had four Western Cape towns, including the Mother City being identified in the ‘TSI’s 100 most loved destinations’ confirming the destination’s popularity both locally and globally,” Stander said.
Sharing these sentiments, Western Cape’s Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC, David Maynier said, there are clear and exciting indications of a recovery in the tourism and hospitality sector in the province.
“The Western Cape is back in business with domestic and international travellers enjoying the many wonderful attractions on offer across the Western Cape. We expect that, in the run-up to and over the upcoming Easter weekend, we will see further improvements in tourism numbers. Through Wesgro, we will continue to aggressively market our destination to our key tourism markets, so we can take full advantage of pent-up traveller demand to visit the Western Cape.”
Stephen is a hospitality professional from Johannesburg South Africa. His career started with THF hotels in the UK and subsequently with the Southern Sun Hotel group in Johannesburg. Hickmore Recruitment / CareerMap, is a leading supplier of Senior and Exec recruitment services for the hospitality industry in Southern Africa. Stephen recently added career change services, headlining as CareerMap, to assist job applicants. Stephen is a founder and business developer of Pple Hospitality (formerly HSC) the largest Hospitality Industry full-service outsourced staffing company in South Africa. In March 2020 Stephen became a director and part-owner of the Swiss Hotel School South Africa. Stephen writes for a number of publications on food and hospitality industry matters, trends and opinions.