‘Big Six’ destinations draw crowds

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iol travel dec 24 Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Moyo, nestled at the foot of Table Mountain in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, offers an authentic African style and ambience as well as beautiful views of the mountain and plant life. PICTURE: CANDICE CHAPLIN

Cape Town - More than two million visitors poured into Cape Town’s “Big Six” tourist spots this summer, even before the official start of the festive season.

The City of Cape Town’s tourism department reported that visitor numbers to these six most popular sites increased significantly compared to November last year.

Grant Pascoe, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, said the city’s tourism industry had been enjoying a steady annual increase in visitor numbers, and they were gearing up to welcome more local and international visitors for the traditional peak tourism season.

The city reported that Groot Constantia wine estate had recorded above-average sales for November, while visitor numbers at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens were up by more than 13 percent from the same period last year.

Visitor totals for the month of November this year show:

l just over 90 000 visitors to Table Mountain.

l 70 745 visitors to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

l 37 600 visitors to Cape Point.

l more than 1.8 million visitors to the V&A Waterfront.

l 31 870 visitors to Robben Island.

l more than 20 000 visitors to Groot Constantia.

Major events such as the switch-on of the Festive Lights, where more than 120 000 people flocked to the city centre, and several other musical, sporting and cultural events drew about 200 000 visitors to the city ahead of the season, Pascoe said.

“Between January and March this year, over 420 000 people visited the Western Cape. This is an increase from just over 379 000 over the same period in 2011.

Together these tourists spent more than R5 billion in the province over just three months.”

The figures were collated by the Western Cape Destination Marketing Investment and Trade Promotion Agency South Africa (Wesgro).

Pascoe said that while the bulk of the visitors had arrived from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, there was also steady growth from Asian countries. - Cape Argus

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