Western Cape says tourism hit record level

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Joseph Booy­sen

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.

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