Media Release: Tourism Month- Tourism drives economic growth and job creation
Projects aimed at growing the Western Cape tourism sector and creating new jobs are starting to show dividends.
According to Stats SA, in South Africa, 1 in 23 people is employed in the tourism sector.
In the Western Cape economy, tourism is responsible for creating a combined total of 300 000 jobs.
In 2017, 1.727 million international visitors arrived in the province, with a total direct spend of R23 billion.
A further 1.38 million domestic trips were undertaken in 2017, with total direct tourism spend of R1.6 billion.
Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde said: “tourism plays a major role in our ability to deliver on our key objectives of growing the economy and creating new jobs, which is why it was selected as one of the sectors to focus on in our Project Khulisa strategy. We’ve seen over 38 000 new jobs created between 2013 and 2017, and tourism’s contribution to the province’s bottom line through Gross Value Added grew by 11.5% in 2017, on top of 15.5% growth seen in 2016.”
Cape Town Air Access, a partnership between government, the private sector and tourism promotion agencies, has been established to expand the number of destinations with direct flights to Cape Town.
The award-winning team has made excellent headway, securing more than 1.5 million new seats into and out of Cape Town since their inception in 2015, with an estimated financial contribution of R4.1 billion.
“Through their efforts, there has been a 44% increase in the seat capacity for international flights when comparing the first six months of 2016 to the first six months of 2018. The seat capacity in June 2018, an off-season low month, exceeded that of January 2016- with January being peak holiday season. These figures highlight the sterling work being done by the Air Access team and everyone in the Western Cape tourism sector to ensure that visitors continue to select the Western Cape as a holiday or business tourism destination.”
“We did see some of the arrivals numbers taper off in April and May and we suspect this has a lot to do with uncertainty around the water situation in Cape Town. Due to good winter rains, Cape Town’s water supply dams are now 65% full. As a responsible tourism destination, we are continuing to ask visitors to be mindful of their water consumption, but we can assure them that this will not negatively impact their holiday plans.”
“Cape Town and the Western Cape are open for business and ready to wow visitors,” Minister Winde said.
Visitors arriving in the province are reminded that this year marks the centenary year of former President Nelson Mandela’s birth, and are encouraged to view the recently installed statue of Madiba at the Cape Town City Hall. Those seeking more active pursuits, are encouraged to ride one of the province’s cycling routes, which include the Cederberg Circuit, the Cross Cape and the Cycle 364 route.
“As we mark tourism month, we want to thank the tourism businesses and entrepreneurs that have contributed to our economy and who create new jobs. We also want to encourage locals and visitors alike to explore the province, enjoying some of the museums, eateries, attractions and accommodation which our province has to offer,” Minister Winde said.
Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro said: “As the Western Cape’s mandated tourism promotion Agency, we are working every day to get the message out that the Cape is open for business, and that all our world-class attractions are still here waiting for you. With our dams filling up to 65%, we have shown the world that our destination is innovative and resilient, strengthening our offer to the world. This tourism month, we re-commit to our efforts to grow the tourism sector in the Cape, helping create even more jobs and opportunities for all our people.”