Cape Town continues to see an increase in annual visitors despite challenges facing the local tourism industry. This is according to Garreth Bloor, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development.
Bloor says a recent study by the City of Cape Town found that nearly 1.65-million foreign visitors arrived in the Mother City last year, spending an estimated R15.6-billion. This is a marked increase from the R14.4-billion spent by tourists in 2012, and certainly welcome news in the wake of reports that the industry has been severely damaged in recent months by a controversial set of new visa regulations.
Foreigners are not the only people choosing to holiday in the Cape, adds Bloor, with 800,000 South Africans also coming to Cape Town in the same period, spending R3.2-billion. Bloor tells News24 that the local tourism sector accounts for nearly 39,000 permanent jobs, and an additional 15,500 temporary jobs, and it is expected that this figure will also rise in the coming years.
Check out the Citizen for more details on the City of Cape Town tourism industry study.
So, with the summer holiday season fast approaching, Cape Town residents should probably think twice before complaining about the visible influx of tourists to our city and rather welcome them (and their wallets) with open arms.
Photography courtesy Clifford Yudelman – Optismile