by Simon Capstick-Dale

CT’s tourism growth in the 2012-13 season

Reaching for the skies

CT’s tourism growth in the 2012-13 season
CT’s tourism growth in the 2012-13 season

Cape Town Tourism is pleased to report positive tourism growth to the Mother City for the 2012/ 2013 peak tourism season.

As announced recently by President Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s Annual Tourism Statistics 2012 showed encouraging growth for tourism countrywide. 9 188 368 international tourists visited South Africa in 2012; 10.2% more than in 2011. Looking at the more recent summer season in Cape Town, it would appear that the upward trend shows no sign abating. Research concluded by Cape Town Tourism and Horwath HTL, found that positive growth occurred across most sectors of Cape Town’s tourism landscape for the period December 2012 - March 2013, with an annual increase of 6-8% percent year-on-year.


The survey reveals that room/night demand for  December 2012 - March 2013 was stronger than for the same period a year ago. Survey feedback has found that all accommodation types, with the exception of self-catering, registered positive growth in room/night demand. B&Bs registered the highest growth rate, followed by hotels.

With regard to geographic location, all geographic locations, except the Helderberg region, registered positive growth in room/night demand. The Northern Suburbs, City Centre and Southern Peninsula registered the biggest increases in room/night demand, in that order.

From December 2012 – February 2013 approximately 51.4% of all room nights were sold to international guests, followed by 42.2% by domestic guests and 6.4% for regional guests.


In March 2013, the V&A Waterfront saw 2 169 748 feet through their doors - an increase of 11.9% on the same period last year. Table Mountain Aerial Cableway saw 82 805 visitors, a 6% increase on March last year. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden saw 71 033 visitors – an increase of 13.7% on March 2012.

These figures suggest the recent summer season was palpably improved and it appears that this is indicative of some recovery in the economy and a desire to travel again. Other factors that might have contributed to our great tourism season could have been the excellent weather and the fact that Cape Town was positively marketed through travel programmes in our international source markets at a key time for travel decision-making.

Coucillor Grant Pascoe, Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing concludes; “The improved tourism figures are encouraging and call for further focused action to maintain this trend by offering excellent value-for-money packages year round. We must continue to be competitive, whilst sharpening and adapting our service-orientated approach to attract new markets. We are looking for tourism opportunities that will grow the City’s natural fortes and are inclusive whilst sustaining the current core of the tourism economy. Our spotlight on winter as an events magnet is already translating into some excellent packages to drive conversion.”

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