DURBAN - Despite South Africa’s recent technical recession and a drought that crippled many areas of Western Cape business, foreign tourism rose by 2.4 percent in 2017, building on a 12.8 percent increase in 2016.
Domestic travel showed the greatest increase since 2014, rising 4.2 percent in 2017 – well above the gains of less than 2 percent in 2015/16.
"The odds have been against us, what with a constrained economy, a drought, tourism visa issues and questions around electricity supply," said Wayne Troughton, the Chief Executive of HTI Consulting.
Troughton added this despite this they have never before witnessed the levels of interest that they are seeing right now from international and local operators wanting to expand or launch into, specifically, Cape Town, with the CBD being high in demand.
Cape Town remains the country’s top tourist destination. The city was named the World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination at the 2018 World Travel Awards in Lisbon, and the International Congress and Convention Association ranked the Mother City as the best business tourism city in Africa.
Demand for hotels in Cape Town has grown exponentially since 2012. Between 2012 and 2017, the occupancy and average daily rate (of the Cape Town market as a whole grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 3 percent and 10.7 percent respectively.