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Cape tourism scored an 'impressive recovery' over the Easter period, stats show

The April 2022 tourism performance statistics report by Wesgro point to a solid recovery for the Western Cape’s tourism and hospitality sector over the Easter season. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

The April 2022 tourism performance statistics report by Wesgro point to a solid recovery for the Western Cape’s tourism and hospitality sector over the Easter season. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jun 1, 2022

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Cape Town - Provincial tourism, trade and investment promotion agency (Wesgro) has said the province’s tourism and hospitality sector has shown “impressive recovery”.

The April 2022 tourism performance statistics report by Wesgro point to a solid recovery for the Western Cape’s tourism and hospitality sector over the Easter season.

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Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC Mireille Wenger said: “The tourism and hospitality sector is a major job creator in our province, contributing an estimated R15.5 billion and supporting 174 982 direct jobs in 2019.”

The statistics show air passenger traffic has increased and the April 2022 monthly report reflected significant recovery rates at key attractions, some recording rates of 100% and more.

Among the key findings highlighted in the report are that both international and domestic terminal passenger arrivals at Cape Town International recovered to more than 70%, and George Airport passenger arrivals fully recovered when compared with April 2019.

The report also said that hotel occupancy grew from 37.9% in April 2021 to 52.4% in April this year, and that this represented a recovery rate of 87% when compared with April 2019.

Regarding visitors to the 27 participating attractions, the reports said these recorded 448 347 visitors in April, marking a 67% year-on-year growth in the number of visitors and a recovery rate of 61% when compared with April 2019.

The top five highest year-on-year growth rates were recorded for Agulhas National Park, Kogelberg Nature Reserve, Table Mountain National Park, Boulders, Robben Island and Stony Point.

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Wesgro CEO Wrenelle Stander said: “These indicators point to an impressive recovery in the tourism sector. As global travel remains open and airlines continue to re-open routes to Cape Town, it is likely that tourism will continue on this upward trajectory.”

Stander, who is also Cape Town Air Access spokesperson, said the Cape Town Air Access Team had recovered 21 destinations in its route network and had also seen a significant interest in establishing routes between Cape Town and new markets such as the US and Belgium.

The report came out before yesterday’s monthly statistical release from Stats SA, which traditionally provides information about South African residents and foreign travellers who entered or left South Africa in March 2022.

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Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said that in March this year, 1.4 million travellers, including arrivals, departures, and those in transit, passed through South Africa’s ports of entry and exit.

“A comparison between the movements in March 2021 and March 2022 indicates that the volume of arrivals, departures and travellers in transit increased for both South African residents and foreign travellers,” he said.

Maluleke said that for South African residents, the volume of arrivals increased by 125.9%, from 103 933 in March 2021 to 234 833 in March 2022, and departures increased by 142%, from 110 871 in March 2021 to 268 358 in March 2022.

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