How Western Cape’s tourism strategies helped Cape Town’s luxury hotels bounce back

Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town. Picture: Instagram

Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town. Picture: Instagram

Published Apr 17, 2023


The hotel is known for its luxurious accommodations and prime location, but it may not have been able to achieve such high occupancy levels without the support of tourism institutions and strategies implemented by the Western Cape to attract visitors to the region.

Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront’s general manager, Clinton Thom, said: “If visitors are not able to travel easily, safely and at a reasonable cost to a destination, then any single tourism facility’s sales and marketing efforts will go unnoticed.”

“The recent United Airlines addition that continues to bring the total number of international carriers with direct flights into Cape Town to 15-seat capacity has increased significantly. This indicates that there is indeed a market and appetite from international business and leisure travellers to visit Cape Town, and they need to be serviced by a range of accommodation.

“We are all benefiting from the efficiency of Cape Town International Airport which has contributed to the enhanced reputation of the city as a desirable destination.”

From no flights from the US five years ago, the airport now enjoys 12 flights a week from that country.

Thom said the hotel statistics proved that the US was South Africa’s fastest growing tourism market.

Sunrise over Cape Town from an aeroplane window. Picture: Instagram

Wesgro CEO Wrenelle Stander said cruise tourism had an annual economic impact of R300-million, and supported thousands of jobs in Cape Town and the Western Cape.

She said the start of the 2022/23 cruise season was an important step towards achieving Cruise Cape Town’s goal of taking advantage of the growing global cruise tourism trend and expanding the cruise economy.

Wesgro’s efforts in securing conference bids worth R393m for 2022-2024 have contributed significantly to Cape Town’s tourism rebound, with the impressive recovery of Radisson Blu hotel and 85 other members of Cape Town Tourism.

More than 20 000 conference delegates are expected to visit iconic attractions such as Robben Island, Table Mountain and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, while the region’s culinary and wine offerings also attract many visitors.

The Western Cape government’s ability consistently to remain at one load shedding level lower than the rest of the country has also added to the city and province’s attraction for domestic travellers, who make up a significant number of the Cape’s visitors.

“The collaboration between the public and private sectors has been a large part of the Western Cape’s success in recapturing its share of both the local and international tourism market. There are many examples of companies working together on joint marketing initiatives and joint messaging on social media which have strengthened our position,” Stander said.

The Mother City, the jewel of the Western Cape, has seen the benefits of local companies and institutions working together to protect each other's livelihoods and ensure the region’s future as the top tourism performer in the country.

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