Western Cape tourism records high number of international visitors

Numbers of international visitors to the Western Cape continue to surge. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Numbers of international visitors to the Western Cape continue to surge. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 8, 2023

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The Western Cape has reached a full recovery of international tourists to the province, compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to Wesgro.

Statistics showed in 2022 overseas tourist arrivals reached 697 132 , a 232% year-on-year increase.

Foreign direct spend amounted to R14.4 billion and total bed nights from international tourists stood at 9.7 million.

Wesgro also told the Provincial Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Opportunities and Tourism that international arrivals to Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) surpassed pre-pandemic levels for each month this year, with March 2023 seeing a 103% recovery when compared to March 2019.

The news was welcomed by DA spokesperson on Finance, Economic Opportunities and Tourism, Cayla Murray.

The number of international visitors to the Western Cape continues to surge. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

“These statistics clearly show the Western Cape is poised to move on completely from the recovery period, and achieve real growth that will result in more jobs for our residents,” said Murray.

She added the recovery took place despite the fact some e-visa applications had not been processed.

The national association for the hospitality industry, Fedhasa, said the sector also continued to grow in the first quarter of 2023 with hotels the driving force behind the growth in the accommodation sector.

According to data by Statistics South Africa, the increase in total income for the prior year was 38.9% for January and 34.3% for February.

The increase in the three months ended in January 2023/February 2023 compared to last year was at 46.7%, with hotels contributing 60.3% and 65.1% respectively.

Fedhasa national chairperson Rosemary Anderson said: “We are delighted to see the strong growth in the hospitality sector. This is a testament to the resilience of our industry and its ability to recover from the challenges of the pandemic.”

Anderson also called on municipalities across the country and the government to improve basic infrastructure, such as electricity and water supply, to ensure a positive guest experience and position South Africa as a favourable destination for both local and international visitors.

Weekend Argus

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