Could tourism within the Mother City be back in full swing? It looks like it could, if the recent numbers have anything to say about it.
The global pandemic has not been kind to travellers and tourism industries worldwide; however, the Western Cape appears to be (almost) back on its feet as a tsunami of UK (United Kingdom) travellers look to soak up the glorious Cape Town sun.
According to Business Insider, the new arrivals have seen the Western Cape’s tourism numbers recover to 98% of pre-pandemic levels with Stats SA indicating that around 10 255 visitors from the UK stamped their passports at Cape Town International Airport in April. This is slightly less than the 10 466 who came through in 2019.
However, this is a huge jump when compared to the 400 who arrived on the sunny shores of Cape Town in April 2021.
Cape Town Tourism was up in arms late last year after the UK government placed South Africa on its infamous Red List. After more than a year of trying to claw its way back due to international and national lockdowns, the province’s tourism industry faced a dire situation as the UK is considered one of the Western Cape’s key tourism markets, contributing to R3.7 billion.
Despite the good news, it may be a while before we can sail off into the sunset. While tourism levels are slowly reaching pre-pandemic levels, international arrivals from other key markets such as Germany, Switzerland and the US have been slightly lower than it was in April 2019.