Several industries of the business sector in the Western Cape were dealt a massive blow when COVID-19 struck. However, the once crippled tourism sector is now on route to recovery.
The tourism sector which is the key industry of the province’s economy came to a complete halt, as the country and the world went into lockdown.
As reported by Business Day, the Western Cape contributes about 15% to the country’s Gross domestic product (GDP) and most of those contributions come from the province’s tourism sector.
The road to recovery comes after a significant increase in domestic travel as well as many tourist attractions reopening.
In a statement, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) spokesperson for Finance, Economic Development, and Tourism Deidré Baartman said the seasonal tourism statistics for the past financial year indicate that the sector is slowly recovering.
Hospitality businesses in rural and small towns
“While there was only a 19% recovery rate of international travellers in December 2020, the domestic market is leading the way. Over the Easter weekend, the domestic terminal at Cape Town International Airport welcomed 61 099 passengers, which is a 65% increase in comparison to the 2019 Easter weekend, ” Baartman said.
She said the tourism sector will now need the support of all sectors to fully recover, particularly the tourism and hospitality businesses in rural areas and small towns.
Baartman said this during a briefing by the provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) and Wesgro to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.
Meanwhile, DEDAT has said that later this year, it will be engaging with local and regional tourism officials through workshops about transformative travel, equipping them to promote towns to the international market.
The local government has also written to the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, and the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, asking for an urgent introduction of a visa that extended visits by international travellers.
Picture: Cape Town Etc gallery