WC concerned about drop in international passenger arrivals since start of COVID

Restrictions, travel red lists, Omicron and other COVID-19 related issues have had a huge impact.

FILE: A general view of the Cape Town International Airport. Picture: Facebook.com.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape government on Tuesday said it was concerned about a drop in international passenger numbers at the Cape Town International Airport since December 2019.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, the tourism, hospitality and aviation industries have been some of the hardest hit.

Restrictions, travel red lists, Omicron and other COVID-19 related issues have had a huge impact on industries.

But tourism and hospitality are still trying to recover from the damage caused by the virus and lockdowns.

According to Cape Town Air Access, in 2019, international return trips were sitting at nearly 2.6 million.

In 2020, they declined to over 800,000 and kept dropping.

And while it was hoped to be a good festive season, the numbers show that between November and December last year, there was a decline from over 96,000 to just over 76,000 international trips, with the Omicron variant and ensuing travel bans slapped on South Africa to blame.

“What we’re looking forward to now, in the next three months specifically, are summer season on international trips and from a Wesgro point of view, we’re focusing on marketing in those international markets,” said Premier Alan Winde.

The good news, however, is that domestic tourism is slowly bouncing back.