Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain looms over the city's Waterfront district. File picture: Reuters

Johannesburg - More than 780,000 people visited the Western Cape's top tourist spots last year, the provincial tourism department said on Thursday.

Tourism MEC Alan Winde said the 784,710 visits to the province made the industry thrive, which resulted in increased job opportunities for urban and rural residents across the Western Cape.

“The tourism industry contributes more than R18 billion to our region's economy annually and employs 150,000 people.

“It's a crucial sector of the Western Cape economy,” Winde said.

The number of international flights in and out of the Cape Town International Airport in December increased by 6.7 percent, domestic flights increased by 2.3 percent, and regional flights decreased by 3.5 percent, he said.

Cape Point, Kirstenbosch Gardens and Robben Island were the top three attractions, but the Cango Caves, Evita-se-Perron, Franschhoek Huguenot Museum, Stellenbosch Tourism Office and the West National Park were also popular. - Sapa