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WC drought projected to cost tourism sector R1bn in revenue

Investment agency Wesgro says that over the past 24 months, international visitors were hesitant to visit the province.

The Theewaterskloof Dam near Cape Town on 18 June 2018. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape tourism industry is expecting to lose a billion rand in revenue as a result of the worst drought in more than a century.

Investment agency Wesgro says that over the past 24 months, international visitors were hesitant to visit the province.

It hasn’t been a great year for tourism in the Western Cape.

It’s understood that the fear of taps running dry affected consumer behaviour and influenced potential visitors from across the globe.

Chief marketing officer at Wesgro, Judy Lain, says that her office received many concerns from the international community.

"In 2017, Western Cape saw another double digit growth of 10% and then we look at quarter 1 for 2018, we see a decline of 10% so we’ve gone backwards 10% in terms of growth . If we look at quarters 2, 3 and 4, we see a 15% decline.”

Lain says the drought had a massive effect on the numbers.

She says that government and the private sector are together contacting international partners to say that the Western Cape is open for business.

Dam levels are recovering, but the province still has water restrictions in place, with Cape Town enforcing level 6b restrictions, limiting citizens to 50 litres per person per day.

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