Cape Town is set for a bumper tourism season with estimates for the number of travellers to our shores indicating a significant increase. Photo: File

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town is set for a bumper tourism season with estimates for the number of travellers to our shores indicating a significant increase. 

One of the key drivers of economic growth is the ‘Blue Economy’ which encompasses both the aviation and ocean economies. Read more below:

"I am very excited to confirm the impressive increases in visitor arrival numbers based on the amount of forward bookings," said Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos. 

These numbers, based on actual flight reservations, are according to data company ForwardKeys.

Vos said, "We are expecting almost 50 000 travellers to arrive from the UK over the December 2019 to March 2020 period, demonstrating an increase of 30 period when compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile Germany shows a 20 period increase and the USA 11 period". 

He added, "These stellar increases in tourists from some of our key source markets show that by implementing successful strategies, we can increase the numbers of tourists to our city and ultimately benefit our residents and businesses. Clearly our investments in destination marketing and tourism development are paying off". 

Tourism accounts for thousands of jobs in Cape Town and has great growth potential. The City, in partnership with Cape Town Tourism, will continue investing in programmes and initiatives to drive demand that make business sense.

"I am driven by the overarching objective to make my portfolio the ‘Growth Directorate’ of the City. This means that we focus our energy on attracting investment and tourism, which creates jobs and leads to economic growth," said Vos. 

A key driver of growth, through travel and trade, is what they have termed the ‘Blue Economy’ and encompasses both the aviation and ocean economies.

To grow the aviation economy, the City provides funding to the Air Access initiative which is mandated to expand current flight routes and to secure new routes to boost tourism and trade. This initiative has contributed to the success of securing 16 new routes, 22 route expansions and has increased the international seat capacity to 1,5 million two-way seats.

Other important aspects of the ‘Blue Economy’ that are poised for high growth are boat building and cruise tourism. 

He said, "We are working with these key catalytic sectors to implement proven strategies so they reach their full potential". 

"I look forward to making further announcements about the various programmes that will be considered and implemented to unlock the economic potential of these sectors in the new year," concluded Vos.