The Western Cape has taken its place as a global big-hitter amongst tourists, with arrivals and infrastructure spend reaching record levels.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, and Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, revealed key facts on the state of the Western Cape’s tourism sector.
Minister Winde said that the Western Cape has entered a exciting period in the tourism sector. Nine of out ten key attractions reported record visitor numbers for the 2016 peak season, and these increases speak to the emergence of the Western Cape as one of the world’s leading tourism destinations.
The most notable wins for Western Cape tourism include:
The Visa rules were relaxed and Investor Centre launch set for the second half of 2017. In 2015/16 the Western Cape secured 30 conference bids, with an estimated economic impact of Wesgro that supported 35 events which attracted 100 000 visitors. The Foreign tourist numbers grew at 29.8% year-on-year in December;
Some of the major attractions achieved growth of 19.8% between 2013 and 2016. The attractions include: Agulhas National Park, Bontebok National Park, Cango Caves, Tsitsikamma National Park, Wilderness National Park, Karoo National Park, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, Robben Island, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and Table Mountain National Park.
Over the next three years, Cape Town International Airport will invest R331million into its new Domestic Arrivals terminal and R996 million for its International Terminal expansion. Last year, Marriott International, in partnership with Amdec, announced a R2 billion investment to develop three new properties here, while Tsogo Sun is currently adding 500 rooms to accommodation in Cape Town central through the opening of a R680 million hotel.
The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has also invested significantly into the province. The group has launched the Radisson Red at the V&A Waterfront’s Silo District, and the Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence at the old Triangle House Building. In March, the Silo hotel will open at the V&A Waterfront.
“The brand of Cape Town is growing tremendously, we can see that from the numbers.”
“Historically, repeat visitors explore other regions, outside of Cape Town, and these regions need to prepare themselves for the second wave of growth. To respond to these trends, we need to build our tourist asset base by increasing investment into new attractions.”
“As government we are building three new attractions, namely the Cape Cycle network, the Madiba Legacy route and we have repackaged our food and wine offering across the province. We’re also rolling out our province-wide skills drive to ensure we offer quality service. Our job is to help every region to realise its full tourism potential.”