Following a positive holiday season largely thanks to domestic travellers, the latest statistics recorded for cruise ships, MICE business and Cape Town International Airport (CTIA), show that the outlook for tourism and travel to the Mother City is shining even brighter,
This is according to City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, James Vos.
Air arrivals recovery
He said the February figures for domestic arrivals to Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) had recovered to 79% of the February 2019 statistics.
International figures for February also showed strong recovery, recording 76% of the arrivals for February 2019.
The airport was at the time processing 25 000 passengers a day, said Vos.
Airlines that have resumed services to CTIA are Emirates, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Kenya Airways, and Turkish Airlines.
United Airlines has announced that it will resume direct flights between Cape Town and Newark/New York from June 2022 – ahead of its initial schedule – and has applied for regulatory approval in the US and South Africa to introduce year-round flights to and from Washington DC.
“I can confirm that, from the City’s perspective, we wholeheartedly support this application,” noted Vos.
He added that the city had made similar strides as a cruise destination, with five ships still expected up to May and a further 104 expected to make their way to Cape Town between October 2022 and May next year.
The successes in these two markets, air passengers and cruise ships, are linked to Air Access and Cruise Cape Town, both initiatives housed at tourism promotion agency, Wesgro.
“This past financial year, I motivated for funding towards these two programmes and I will do so again in the next budget cycles. It makes business sense to secure global connectivity for Cape Town,” Vos pointed out.
The Mother City’s MICE sector equally appears to be back to its pre-pandemic highs with 140 listings already booked for the year at the Cape Town International Conference Centre, bringing in an estimated revenue of R145 million.
“Not only do these numbers represent a rise in travellers to Cape Town, but it is also an indication that the city has cemented connections to more key source markets, which will boost trade and exports of Mother City-made goods. This means increased production, which means more jobs and a stronger economy,” said Vos.
He added that these figures were the result of targeted and effective campaigns and strategies implemented by the city and its business partners that captured the diversity and fullness of its offering as a destination.
“There is no doubt that the past two years have been tough going for industries and economies, with tourism certainly coming off as one of the worst affected. But I’m proud of the hard work, innovation and collaboration that have kept Cape Town in a prime position for a bumper tourist year. The numbers make it clear: Cape Town is open for business!”