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Western Cape tourism nearing pre-pandemic levels

from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – THE Western Cape is encouraged by the recovery of its tourism industry after some areas performed better than before the COVID-19 crisis.

Wesgro, the province’s official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, noted tourism was among the industries that are leading the post pandemic recovery.

“It’s encouraging to witness the sector being restored to its pre-pandemic pinnacle, and in some areas, exceeding previous levels,” Wrenelle Stander, Wesgro Chief Executive Officer, said.

The official said it was also encouraging that the United Kingdom (UK) remained the top source market for tourism into the province after reaching a 98 percent recovery in April 2022 when compared to the same month in 2019.

The UK is followed by Germany, United States of America (USA), Netherlands and France.

Nationally, the UK is now second behind the USA as South Africa’s biggest source market.

However, domestic recovery in the Western Cape slowed to 62 percent in June after remaining on 70 percent to 80 percent recovery since the start of the year.

Wesgro attributed the drop in the domestic arrival recovery rate to the historic low season of winter and the shortage of seats on domestic routes due to the liquidation of ComAir.

Mireille Wenger, the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, meanwhile urged the tourism and hospitality sector to make the most of this time to prepare for the projected growth in visitors expected from the end of the year.

“Maintaining our service levels will ensure that the province remains a ‘return’ tourism destination, with visitors coming back again in the future,” Wenger said.

– CAJ News

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