Winter Tourism in Western Cape Soars: Strong Recovery in Tourist Numbers and Attractions Revealed

  • The Western Cape's tourism industry is experiencing a remarkable recovery, with significant increases in both international and domestic tourist numbers. Cape Town International Airport saw a full rebound in international two-way passengers compared to 2019, while domestic travel numbers also remained strong.
  • Cape Town, as the primary tourist destination in the Western Cape, recorded a surge in tourist arrivals during May 2023. The city welcomed a total of 46,966 tourists, with a majority coming from overseas markets. The share of overseas tourists has fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels, highlighting the resilience of Cape Town's tourism sector.
  • The report also highlights the recovery of visitor levels at various attractions in the Western Cape. Six out of the fourteen participating attractions fully recovered in May 2023, showcasing the growing interest in exploring the diverse offerings of the region. This positive trend signifies the appeal and attractiveness of the Western Cape as a premier travel destination


western cape winter tourism

In a monthly tourism report compiled by Wesgro, the official tourism, trade, and investment promotion agency of the Western Cape Government, it has been revealed that the province’s tourism industry is experiencing a remarkable recovery. The report showcases an array of positive indicators, including a significant rebound in international and domestic tourist numbers, as well as an encouraging resurgence of visitor levels at popular attractions. These developments are indicative of the Western Cape’s thriving tourism sector, which continues to draw visitors from around the globe.

The Western Cape’s MEC of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, expressed her delight at the impressive performance of the province’s tourism industry. She stated, “This is truly great news for our many wonderful attractions across the Western Cape. During the winter holidays, I, like many parents in the province, look for ways to keep children occupied and entertained, and we are spoiled for choice in the Western Cape. I encourage parents to take advantage of and explore the many wonderful attractions with their children and to do so safely if they are traveling on our roads this wet winter.”

One of the key highlights from the report is the strong recovery in international two-way passengers through Cape Town International Airport (CTIA). Between January and May 2023, the numbers fully rebounded to 105% compared to 2019, demonstrating the renewed interest in visiting the Western Cape. Additionally, over 2.7 million domestic two-way passengers traveled through CTIA during the same period, showcasing the strong support from local tourists.

George Airport also experienced a positive trend, with two-way passenger numbers reaching 327,179 between January and May 2023, representing a 3% year-on-year increase compared to the corresponding period in 2022. This growth signifies the appeal of the Western Cape as a destination for both international and domestic travelers.

Cape Town, the crown jewel of the Western Cape, enjoyed a notable surge in tourist arrivals via air during May 2023. The month recorded a total of 46,966 tourist arrivals, with 86% of these visitors originating from overseas markets and 14% hailing from the African continent. Particularly encouraging is the fact that the share of overseas tourists has fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels, reflecting the resiliency of Cape Town’s tourism industry.

When examining the top source markets for Cape Town, the United Kingdom emerged as the leader in air travel, closely followed by Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, and France, which rounded out the top five positions. The European market continues to be the largest contributor to tourist arrivals in Cape Town, with six out of the top ten source markets originating from the continent.

The report also highlights the recovery of visitor levels at various attractions. In May 2023, six out of the fourteen participating attractions fully recovered when compared to visitor levels recorded in May 2019. This positive trend underscores the growing interest in exploring the diverse offerings of the Western Cape.

MEC Wenger expressed her satisfaction with the sustained recovery in tourism numbers, particularly the robust figures for international tourists. She expressed hope for a strong demand for travel during the Western Cape’s winter period and encouraged residents to explore the province’s stunning attractions while supporting local tourism businesses. She concluded, “So, to residents, let’s get out and explore our stunning province these holidays and support our tourism businesses while keeping the kids entertained and engaged.”

The Western Cape’s tourism industry’s strong recovery is a testament to the province’s allure as a premier travel destination. With an array of attractions, breathtaking landscapes, and a commitment to safety, the Western Cape continues to captivate visitors from all corners of the world. As the region re

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