Cape Town’s tourism sector is well on its way to recovery to post-pandemic figures, according to tourism leaders in the Mother City.
This is underpinned by preliminary statistics received from Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), which showed that Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) recorded
266 656 international two-way passenger numbers for December 2022, resulting in a 95% recovery to the pre-pandemic numbers achieved in December 2019.
The domestic terminal, for the same month, recorded a strong 72% recovery when compared with the 2019 figure, with 790 514 two-way passengers recorded.
These latest figures are expected to bring the two-way passenger numbers for CTIA to over eight million in 2022.
Over this period, Provincial Traffic Services also noted high levels of traffic on Western Cape roads as citizens and visitors travelled to and within the province.
Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, welcomed what she termed a “spectacular recovery”.
"It has been a bumper season for the Cape! Wesgro is confident that the province is well on its way to moving from tourism recovery to tourism growth in 2023. Cape Town and the Western Cape will continue to flourish in the coming year, welcoming even more tourists to enjoy wide-open spaces and world-class yet affordable travel experiences,” she said.
Cruising on the up
Cruise Cape Town, powered by Wesgro, also indicated that on two separate days this season, the Cape Town Cruise Terminal welcomed three ships in the terminal on the same day, a first for the port.
December 21 saw Hanseatic Spirit (200 pax), Norwegian Jade (2100 pax) and Seven Seas Voyager (600 pax) in port together and, on January 3, the cruise terminal welcomed the Azamara Journey (with 359 passengers), the MSC Sinfonia with 2000 passengers and the Norwegian Jade (1 500 passengers) – a bumper 3 859 passengers.
Wenger noted that this cruising season (November ’22 to April ’23) there would be 75 ship visits to the Cape Town Cruise Terminal, the largest amount in its history, of which 41 ships importantly were turnaround visits (i.e. passengers disembark here and new passengers board for a new journey).
“More visitors to our province mean more jobs for our residents and so this is excellent news indeed. We are committed to growing these figures even further by connecting Cape Town to more destinations around the world, and by doing whatever we can to remove barriers that stand in the way of this sector’s success,” she said.
James Vos, Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, has reiterated the City’s commitment to pulling out all the stops to support and strengthen the tourism sector this year.
“Tourism is a driver of employment and economic prosperity, accounting for one in 10 jobs worldwide and delivering one in five of all new jobs created in 2017, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
“My team and I will maintain our efforts to remove barriers that constrain the industry, such as continuing to push for a remote worker visa and implementing open skies agreements.”