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Western Cape lures local market amid sanctions

from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – STAKEHOLDERS in the Western Cape tourism sector are intensifying efforts to attract travellers from within South Africa.

This follows declining arrivals blamed on latest travel restrictions slapped on the country.

Arrivals at the Cape Town International Airport have dropped significantly due to restrictions linked to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19.

This is in contrast to the upward shift in especially the October and November.

Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) stated one lesson stakeholders had realised from the previous restrictions being lifted was the pent up demand in key source markets, as demand surged for travel to Cape Town and the Western Cape.

CTAA is there therefore, confident that a removal of travel barriers would once again allow the demand to resume, ensuring a successful season until Easter 2022 and beyond.

“For now, we are deepening our efforts in attracting our domestic market to the destination,” it stated through Danyaal Samuels, its Research and Data Analyst.

Figures provided indicate 63 561 domestic arrivals since December. This compares to 129 646 arrivals at the airport in the same period in 2019.

International arrivals in December are 10 049, down from 40 080 at this time of the month in 2019.

Air cargo volumes at the local international airport are forecast to decrease following the introduction of new travel bans.

“These travel bans remain unfortunate and would most likely further prolong the recovery in air cargo volumes for the airport,” CTAA bemoaned.

A positive development in the current month is the United Airlines resuming Newark/New York – Cape Town non-stop service.

CTAA, established in 2015, is a partnership by the Western Cape government, City of Cape Town, Cape Town Tourism, Wesgro, South African Tourism and Airports Company South Africa as well as private sector partners.

– CAJ News

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