Cape Town Tourism has identified numerous factors that influenced travel choices in 2018. Picture: Supplied.

Cape Town Tourism has identified numerous factors that influenced travel choices in 2018, including a third-quarter recession and the drought as primary factors.

Figures released by Cape Town’s big attractions, Cape Town International Airport and STR’s Destination Report indicate mixed performance for December 2018.  

The second half of the year has shown that the city’s recovery in terms of tourism is stabilising, notwithstanding a poor performance in the early part of 2018.

December performance was impacted by shortened school holidays, negatively affecting the leisure market but resulting in earlier bookings of corporate events and bookings.

Many locals opted to ‘staycation’ and visited local attractions and experiences. Attractions specifically commented on the increase of local footfall.

Tourist hot spots

Robben Island showed the highest increase year-on-year for December at 28% more visitors, mostly attributed to improved operations since the same period last year. This was after a year of challenges that saw the attraction 10% down for the whole of 2018.

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway also reported an increase year-on-year for December of 6%, a notable recovery after ending the year 2% down for the whole of 2018.

The V&A Waterfront, Africa’s most-visited attraction reported visitor figures for December that were 2% lower than in the same period in 2017, as did the Two Oceans Aquarium and Cape Point.

Chapmans Peak Drive was static at 0%, while Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens was at 5% lower in December but 2% higher over the whole of 2018.

Groot Constantia reported a December that was at 23% lower for December but at only 6% lower for the whole of 2018.

International passengers at Cape Town International Airport, according to Airports Company South Africa were recorded as being up by 4% in December (year-on-year) and by over 9% in total for 2018, at 2.4 million passengers.

December occupancy at hotels in Cape Town according to the STR Destination Report was reported up 2% and the average daily rate was reportedly down 4% year-on-year.