WC govt concerned about drop in international tourism numbers

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.

FILE: A view of the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on 28 April 2021. The venue usually attracts millions of visitors every year but is now sparsely populated due to regulations related to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape government is concerned about a drop in international passenger numbers at 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.

But the tourism and hospitality sectors 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 more than 76,000 international trips, with the Omicron variant and ensuing travel bans slapped on South Africa to blame.

Premier Alan Winde: "What we're looking forward now to the next three months, specifically our summer season on international trips and from our Wesgro point of view we'll be focusing on our marketing into those international markets."

The good news is domestic tourism is slowly bouncing back.