Western Cape Tourism Sector Reports Best Start to Peak Season Yet
The Western Cape’s most popular tourism attractions reported major increases at the start of peak summer season, says Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism.
Minister Winde revealed statistics for tourist hotspots and accommodation establishments across the Western Cape, including Cape Town, the Cape Winelands, the Garden Route and the West Coast.
“I’m pleased that tourist attractions across the Western Cape have seen a marked increase in visitor numbers. The benefits of this thriving industry are spreading across our province, resulting in increased job opportunities for urban and rural residents. The tourism industry contributes more than R18 billion to our region’s economy annually and employs 150 000 people. It’s a crucial sector of the Western Cape economy,” said Minister Winde.
In addition, international, domestic and regional air travel figures reached pre-recession levels at Cape Town International Airport, where passenger numbers for December topped 780 000. International passenger numbers in December increased by 6.7% and domestic passenger numbers increased by 2.3%. These figures were well above expectation.
2.3% increase in domestic pax numbers
-3.5% decrease in regional pax numbers
6.7% increase in pax numbers
Popular attractions across the province also experiences increases:
2012 (November and December)
2013 (November and December)
Franschhoek Huguenot Museum
Stellenbosch Tourism Office
West National Park
Minister Winde said several regions had reported increases and highlighted some of the key observations:
- Swellendam’s tourism information centres and cultural landmarks reported a 117% increase in visitor numbers between November 2012 and November 2013.
- Stanford tourism authorities said they were having one of their “best seasons”, with a 42% increase in the number of guests staying at local accommodation establishments.
- Gansbaai’s tourism offices welcomed 1000 more visitors over the start of the peak tourism period when compared to 2012.
- Groot Constantia noted an increase in visitors from African countries and more tourists for Italy, Spain and Portugal. The estate welcomed 63 000 visitors between November and December 2013.
- Usually known as a whale-watcher’s paradise, Hermanus saw a spike in bookings, reporting larger groups and longer stays in November and December 2013.
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens noted a 20% increase in international tourists and overall logged a record high number of visitors in December 2013.
- Cape Town’s biggest attractions started the season with record-breaking numbers.
- In 2013, visitor numbers at the V&A Waterfront reached close to 24 million, including 175 000 visitors per day on 31 December 2013.
- The Table Mountain Cableway ended off 2013 on a record-breaking note welcoming 120 318 visitors in December 2013, a 2% increase from December 2012.
- The Stony Point Penguin Colony saw a slight increase from 12 417 in December 2012 to 12 518 in December 2013.
- In Paarl, the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en Monument reported an increase in visitors in December 2012 at 6 301 to 7 628 in December 2013.
- Robertson tourism authorities reported a 40% increase in visits over the December 2013 period, compared to the previous year.
Minister Winde highlighted the increase in the amount of international visitors to the Western Cape.
“Establishments across our province are welcoming more international travellers. I am confident that the high profile awards we garnered in 2012 and 2013 as well as improvements in service are key drivers of this increase. The weaker rand is also a factor in driving tourism. We look forward to the January numbers. I am confident we will see this positive trend continuing well into peak season,” said Minister Winde.
Spokesperson for Minister Alan Winde
Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 082 454 4365