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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  24 Nov 2010

TOURISM: Business Looking Good For W Cape


Recent Western Cape Business News

THE majority of Cape Town Routes Unlimited’s (CTRU) Tourism Reference Panel is upbeat about the approaching peak season. This follows positive feedback from tourist sites and Cape Town International Airport last month which showed good growth at major attractions and in foreign arrivals. 

The majority (52%) of the Western Cape’s tourism industry, as represented on CTRU’s Tourism Reference Panel, believes that the post-World Cup slump should be something of the past by December and that the province’s upcoming peak tourism season will be better than last year’s. Just over a quarter indicated that it would be at least the same as last year’s. The remainder indicated that the recession would limit travel, and that some visitors had come during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in lieu of during the festive season.

These are the results of the latest reference panel survey conducted by CTRU, tourism destination marketing organisation for Cape Town and the Western Cape, on peak season expectations and post-World Cup impressions. Tourist attractions, accommodation establishments, restaurants, tour operators and agencies, and regional and local tourism organisations from across the Western Cape’s six tourism regions are amongst those represented on the panel.

On the back of the World Cup, and based on booking evidence, many within the tourism industry are confident of a better than average peak season this year. Our doors are open and we are eager to welcome both foreign and domestic festive season visitors to Cape Town and the Western Cape. It is usually the case that it takes several years to see considerable gains from major tournaments, but I am cautiously optimistic that our destination remains in the minds of foreign residents, and that each year we will entice them to visit in larger numbers. We should see an additional boost when the economy turns. To those who are visiting us this year, and especially to matric students who are driving to other parts of the province, please be cautious on the roads and behave responsibly at your destination,” says Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism.

Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of CTRU, concurs: “The World Cup was a long-term tourism investment, of which we believe we’ll enjoy the dividends for many years to come. What’s important now, is to build on the successes of our World Cup destination marketing campaign, ‘Beyond the 90 Minutes’, and sustain the high interest in Cape Town and the Western Cape as a travel destination, work actively in new markets such as Brazil, Portugal, Spain, China and India, and adjust our marketing strategies accordingly.”

More than half of the survey respondents believe that the Western Cape’s upcoming summer tourism season will be different due to the fact that South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ this year. While a third believes that the powerful global coverage Cape Town and the Western Cape received thanks to the World Cup will have a lasting effect on the destination’s performance and visitor numbers, 21% says that the summer season should be the same as last year as they expect domestic visitors to go on their usual Christmas or school holidays.

A further 21% cautions that some international arrivals are still being affected by the global economic recession, discouraging long-haul travel, while 15% expects the upcoming season to be ‘a tremendously slow and quiet’ one. They say many visitors who normally would have travelled to the Western Cape during the festive season, already used their leave and holiday money for the World Cup.

Almost half of Cape Town’s accommodation establishments already booked for December

The December bookings for Cape Town’s accommodation establishments however show a different and much more upbeat picture. Almost half (48.7%) of the Cape Town hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs and self-catering units that participate in CTRU’s lodging surveys, are already booked for December. This is slightly better than last year (44.7%). The area enjoying the most bookings for December by far, is the city’s northern suburbs, Helderberg and part of the Cape Flats.

During July, September and August this year, Cape Town’s accommodation establishments showed a significant increase in occupancy, achieving 67% in comparison to last year’s 44%.

According to CTRU’s reference panel survey results, the tourism industry expects Cape Town and the Western Cape’s peak season visitors to come from Europe and South Africa (64% each), followed by the Americas (20%). Of the regions, they believe that Cape Town (89%) will be the most popular among visitors, followed by the Cape Garden Route & Klein Karoo (61%) and the Cape Winelands (59%). The visitors will be mainly leisure travellers (88%) or visiting friends and relatives (42%), staying mostly between one and seven days.

Table Mountain (88%), the wine routes (80%) and the V&A Waterfront (79%) are likely to be festive season visitors’ favourite spots, while their main activities are predicted to be adventure or outdoor active related (73%), followed by eco and nature (68%) and gourmet delights (47%).

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