The number of internationals visitors to Cape Town increased in December, despite concerns about the severe drought affecting the province, and its impact on tourism.
According to Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), Cape Town International Airport registered 127 309 international arrivals for December 2017, an increase of 11.5% from December 2016.
Domestic arrivals by air decreased by 2.2% to 389 324, but this could also mean that more local tourists decided to drive to the Western Cape this December.
Western Cape MEC for Economic Opportunities Alan Winde welcomed initial reports of increases in regional trips.
“The positive feedback received from these offices points to a growth in geographic spread. More people are getting out onto the open road and exploring the diversity of attractions that are on offer across the province,” said Winde.
He added that “the majority of our tourism offices have noted that bookings are continuing to come in, indicating that tourism season is still in full swing”.
The Western Cape continues to deal with a severe crisis that has seen the province implement drastic measures to curb the amount of water used by residents and businesses. Hotels, restaurants, farms and other tourist attractions have been under pressure to conserve water especially during peak season.
Day Zero, when taps will run dry, is projected to be April 22 unless the province reduces its usage.
Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy added: “Cape Town remains a popular destination due to its natural beauty, diverse tourist attractions, and local culture. It is also pleasing to see that water consumption in the city remained the same despite increased numbers of tourists in December. Thank you to all of our visitors and locals for their water-saving efforts”.