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2 minute read
22 Jan 2019
10:48 am

Cape Town tourism on the mend after decline partly caused by drought


The December performance was impacted by shortened school holidays, negatively affecting the leisure market, and a persisting drought. 

The Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in Cape Town, South Africa. Picture: Shutterstock

Cape Town’s tourism sector is slowly recovering after a weak poor performance in the early part of 2018, said the city’s tourism promotion body.

Cape Town Tourism said the industry in what was widely regarded as South Africa’s tourism capital had been hurt by an economic downturn, in addition to the drought.

“Tourism, in general, is in a period of slow recovery following the drought and recession, and the figures reported bear this out,” said CEO Enver Duminy.

“The recovery of water supplies in the latter part of 2018 following healthy rainfall and the implementation of additional water supplies came a little too late to counteract bookings to the city, although December, in general, offered an indication that tourism is on track to becoming a more stable economic environment once again.”

The tourism agency said the December performance was impacted by shortened school holidays, negatively affecting the leisure market.

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. For the whole of 2018, however, visits to the island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned fell 10%.

The equally popular Table Mountain Aerial Cableway reported a 6% year-on-year increase for December, although visits for the whole of 2018 were down 3%.

The V&A Waterfront, Africa’s most-visited attraction, reported a 2% decline in December compared to the same month in 2017, as did the Two Oceans Aquarium and Cape Point.

Data from the Airports Company South Africa showed international passengers at Cape Town International Airport were up 4% year-on-year in December, and by over 9% in total for 2018 as a whole, at 2.4 million passengers.

Cape Town member of the mayoral committee for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos said: “It has been a mammoth task on the part of stakeholders to work towards sustainability within the tourism sector throughout 2018, and the figures for December offer some reassurance that this is paying off.

“We are committed to seeing that all opportunities represented are embraced to reach our goals, so that employment is secure and that more tourism-preneurs can be created to grow the economy throughout the entire city.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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