Western Cape says tourism hit record level
THE WESTERN Cape achieved record tourist arrival numbers this past summer, according to the province’s official tourism report for the season, realeased yesterday.
Economic opportunities MEC Alan Winde and Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, revealed key facts on the state of the Western Cape’s tourism sector.
Winde said nine out of 10 key attractions across the province had reported record visitor numbers for the 2016 peak season.
“These increases speak to the emergence of the Western Cape as one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, on the back of a new, focused approach to growing tourism, and a surge in private sector investment in hospitality infrastructure.
“The brand of Cape Town is growing tremendously, we can see that from the numbers. Historically, repeat visitors explore other regions outside of Cape Town, and these regions need to prepare themselves for the second wave of growth.”
Winde said to respond to these trends, the Western Cape government needed to build its tourist asset base by increasing investment into new attractions.
“As government we are building three new attractions, namely the Cape Cycle network, the Madiba Legacy route and we have repackaged our food and wine offering across the province. We’re also rolling out our province-wide skills drive to ensure we offer quality service. Our job is to help every region to realise its full potential,” he said.
Western Cape figures for last year’s high season, which achieved spectacular growth, include the Cape Winelands areas such as Wellington with an increase of 7.1 percent with the majority of visitors being domestic, achieving an over 100 percent increase compared with the previous year.
Robertson, Montagu and McGregor recorded the highest number for the festive season with an increase of 18 percent from the previous year.
Worcester had a 53 percent increase in the numbers compared with the previous year.
For the Cape Overberg region, Cape Agulhas also had a far busier festive season than that of 2015.