It would seem the positive messages from all tourism stakeholders in Cape Town, that the drought has lifted, has paid off.
Cape Town International Airport has reported a bumper tourism season, and latest figures show international passenger numbers at the airport actually grew by 9,6% in 2018.
2,6 million international passengers were recorded by airport officials, mostly coming from long-haul carriers from outside the Southern African region.
Overall passenger numbers grew from 10 693 063 in 2017 to 10 777 524 in 2018, equating to an increase of 84 000 additional passengers, local and international, passing through the airport.
The Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos says the City is delighted at the growth in international visitors.
“A busy peak season and tourism growth to the region is encouraging in terms of sustainability, especially following what has been a challenging time for the tourism sector. More visitors mean increased benefits for the city and its residents.”
The MEC of Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schäfer says reports from many of the tourist offices province wide have been largely positive, and growing the industry in 2019 would now become the focus.
“The growth in international traffic at Cape Town International Airport, despite the drought factor, is testament to the good work of the Air Access partnership. International traffic numbers at Cape Town International for the whole of 2018 reflect solid growth, which can be attributed to the launch of several new routes throughout the year, and our sustained focus on ensuring growth in our tourism industry.”
Cape Town has aways been a must see destination, and Enver Duminy, the CEO of Cape Town Tourism says it’s to ensure a seamless travel experience through the airport and other modes of arrival that provide positive visitor experiences.
“I firmly believe that tourism remains one of the most lucrative sectors in terms of its contribution to the local economy and job creation. With an increase in the number of flights and passenger arrivals, we are optimistic about what this means for future business and investment benefits.”
The Cape Town Air Access initiative, a partnership between the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government, Airports Company South Africa, Wesgro, Cape Town Tourism, South African Tourism, and the private sector, has helped land 13 new routes to Cape Town International Airport, adding over 1.5 million two-way seats to our destination.
This has resulted in a R6 billion boost to the local economy since 2015, as more tourists come to spend money in the city and province, and more cargo is traded through our airport.
MEC Schäfer says events like the Rugby Sevens in December and the Queen’s Plate earlier this month helped to stimulate the city’s tourism and hospitality sector.
Looking ahead, the city will host the SunMet event later this month, which draws large crowds each year, and has several major conferences lined up in the coming months, including the YPO leadership conference which will see around 2500 delegates from around the world descending on the city in March.
Cape Town is certainly open for business again and ready to welcome the world!