The drought that brought not only Cape Town, but the entire Western Cape, to its knees has had a negative impact not just on local residents but on international tourism as well.
Several countries still note that the drought in the Western Cape is “extreme”, despite the dams now measuring an average capacity of 72% – this is further hindering the province’s already-struggling tourism industry.
Since the beginning of the drought, tourism in the province has dipped by 10%. Although this percentage seems like a small number, it has in fact had a massive negative impact on local businesses that rely on tourists to stay afloat.
The Western Cape Government, City of Cape Town, SA Tourism, Cape Town Tourism, and South Africa Tourism Services Association have banded together to launch a campaign aimed at drawing tourists back in to the province. The campaign is called Nowhere Does It Better.
Twelve of South Africa’s top 20 attractions and landmarks are found in the Western Cape, as well as 13 of the country’s top 25 natural scenery and game attractions. Robben Island, where former president Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for treason, is the top historical landmark in the country.
“The message from all quarters of the tourism sector [is], we’re open for business. It is no secret that the industry took a knock, but people in this sector realised that we could not let it fail,” Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC, Beverly Schafer, said at the launch of the Nowhere Does It Better campaign.
International events and festivals hosted within the Western Cape have brought an average of R260-million to the country, and Cape Town has been recognised as the number one business destination in Africa.
As of April 2018, the province has had 1 567 graded properties, as well as 27 271 graded rooms.
The Western Cape is also the country’s top province for adventure, with 81.5% of tourists flocking in to partake in extreme activities. The region’s top 10 international markets include:
– The United Kingdom
– United States