Numbers point to bumper tourism seasonDecember 22nd, 2011 by Andrew Moth | Categories: government, industry, tourism
Hopes that the Western Cape’s leisure tourist season will see be successful for hospitality businesses have been given a boost by a sharp rise in arrival figures at Cape Town International Airport.
In November the CTIA registered a 14% increase in international arrivals, an 11.7% increase in regional arrivals and a 3.6% increase in domestic arrivals over the figures for the same month a year ago.
The V&A Waterfront registered 1 828 600 visitors in November, a year-on-year increase of 7.2%. Visitor numbers to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens also increased by over 7%, from 58 076 in November 2010 to 62 194 this November.
Alan Winde, the Western Cape’s MEC for Economic development and Tourism, said this week: “Based on early calculations, I am optimistic that the province’s tourism industry will experience a good summer season.”
Visitor numbers to attractions in other parts of the Western Cape, such as the Paarl winelands pictured above, have also increased, suggesting that tourists are happy to head off the beaten track. Winde said: “This is positive news for our smaller towns that rely on the contribution of tourism to boost their economy and create jobs.”
In November 2011, the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse received 24.8% more visitors than in November 2010. The Worcester Open Air Museum saw a 56.5% increase in visitors, and the Garden Route national parks in Knysna and Tsitsikamma each received over 25% more visitors. In addition, accommodation establishments along the Garden Route have reported very high occupancy rates.
“We are pleased by these early signs that tourism to our province is on the increase. Based on these numbers, we expect that this summer will be a good one for the industry, which will be a relief for those who have suffered through a very hard year.
“I am also pleased to note that the majority of visitors perceive our pricing to be acceptable.
At present, tourism contributes over 10% to the region’s GDP. We aim to increase its contribution to 15% by 2015,” Winde said.