Cape tourism poised for a record year as market shrugs off regulatory issues

Note to editors: The following is an extract from remarks made by Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, at HVS's inaugural Tourism, Hotel Investment & Networking Conference (THINC) Africa taking place in Cape Town from 6-7 September 2016.

2016-09-07

THINCAfrica is a unique platform to discuss the future of the continent's tourism and hotel industry, and Wesgro is proud to be one of the conference's official sponsors.

Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy, and tourism in Africa has experienced a surge in visitors and revenue in recent years.

Domestic visitors to the Western Cape increased by 74 000 in the first quarter of this year, compared to same quarter last year. Direct tourism spending also increased R4.6 billion year-on-year in the first quarter of 2016.

These figures show that the Cape tourism market has shrugged off the regulatory issues that hurt our numbers in 2015, and is back on a growth trajectory.

The World Economic Forum’s “Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015” ranked South Africa as Sub-Saharan Africa's 'most tourism ready economy'. Six thousand new hotels and accommodation establishments are expected to have opened in SA by the end of this year to meet increasing demand.

The Western Cape government’s Project Khulisa, spearheaded by Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde, identifies the tourism economy as one of three priority sectors in the Cape.

As such, Wesgro will be working to promote niches like food and wine tourism, helping to develop the Cross Cape Cycle route, and make our destination more accessible to visitors through increased direct routes

Cape Town continues to win awards for its tourism offering. It was recently voted Condé Nast’s Reader’s Choice number one food city in the world and secured the number two spot in National Geographic's “top 10 beach cities in the world” list.

As the Cape’s investment promotion agency, Wesgro looks forward to working with all delegates at THINCAfrica to drive investment in the tourism economy and make sure that we keep winning awards as a world-class destination.