Initial reports on the December 2017 peak tourism month show high growth in international arrivals, and an increase in visitors to regions across the Western Cape.


According to Airports Company South Africa, Cape Town International Airport registered 127 309 international arrivals for December 2017, an 11,5% increase from December 2016.

Domestic arrivals by air dipped slightly by 2,2% to 389 324. It is anticipated that many local tourists chose to use land travel to access the province.

Wesgro – Cape Town and the Western Cape's Official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency – spoke to local tourism offices in the region to gain an initial idea of how the province performed this past December. Official statistics will be published by South African Tourism at a later date.

Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, welcomed initial reports of increases in regional trips.

"The positive feedback received from these offices points to a growth in geographic spread. More people are getting out onto the open road and exploring the diversity of attractions that are on offer across the province."

The following is initial feedback received from local ourism offices in some regions across the Cape:

  • Swellendam noted an increase in tourists, with regular return visitors from Cape Town.
  • Wilderness/George noted an increase in tourists, with a notable increase in visitors from the Middle East.
  • Mossel Bay and Knysna noted an increase in tourists. Mossel Bay in particular noted an increase in visitors from India.
  • Grootbos Nature Reserve, in Gansbaai, registered a positive peak season, with the majority of international visitors emanating from Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy.
  • Bredasdorp and Cape Agulhas reported positive growth in tourist arrivals. Struisbaai had approximately 20 000 people to its beaches. L'Agulhas Lighthouse registered a 34,5% increase in visitors.
  • Barrydale recorded the highest number of visitors to the town in the last two years.
  • McGregor and Tulbagh both noted increases in tourism figures. Tulbagh in particular noted an increase in domestic visitors.
  • Paternoster saw more local visitors during the season to date, particularly from Gauteng and the Western Cape; the leading international markets remained Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands.
  • Hermanus also recorded an increase in visitors, retaining its normal European source market. Spain was noted as a new emerging market.
  • Lambert's Bay noted a 5% increase in their top international markets – the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
  • Velddrif and Porterville both noted increases in international visitors.

Full statistics for attractions in Cape Town are still to be finalised and will be released once verified. Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy, noted that "Cape Town remains a popular destination due to its natural beauty, diverse tourist attractions and local culture. It is also pleasing to see that water consumption in the city remained the same despite increased numbers of tourists in December. Thank you to all of our visitors and locals for their water-saving efforts."


Source: Ubuntu Newsletter