From the CEO: Cape Town Tourism reports on December 2011 tourism figures
We wish all of our members a happy and prosperous new year, one far better than the challenging times faced by the tourism industry during the past two years.
Looking at the 2011-2012 summer season so far, a marked improvement has been seen in traffic at restaurants, shops and attractions for the month of December, and the accommodation sector also reports a positive holiday upswing. This follows a mid-December poll of Cape Town Tourism members, where more than half of the respondents expected a marginally better summer season this year than in 2010-2011. Tourism numbers seem to be improving beyond what was initially anticipated and there is every indication we have seen the start of a positive peak season.
Actual statistics across the board are not yet available, but Cape Town International Airport reported an earlier start to the season this year, with a 14% increase in international arrivals compared with November 2010. During November 2011, an 11.7% increase on last year was felt in regional arrivals and a 3.6% increase in domestic arrivals. January and February are traditionally peak months for international arrivals and a steady year-on-year increase in international tourists compared to last year is expected.
At major Cape Town attractions there was a noticeable increase in international tourists during December 2011, compared to December 2010; most visitors last month hailed from Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. Last minute bookings also picked up sharply during this time. In December more than 3-million visitors were recorded at the V&A Waterfront, and more than 100 000 at Table Mountain Aerial Cableway. The City Sightseeing Bus reported a busy festive season with their famous red top buses running at full capacity during December.
Due to increased capacity in the accommodation sector, occupancy levels in Cape Town hotels were not running at full capacity, however many accommodation establishments on the Atlantic Seaboard, particularly in Camps Bay and the City Centre, were fully booked between Christmas and New Year. Travellers visiting friends and relatives often stayed with them in private accommodation, supporting the marked increases in arrivals by road. In addition, all rental cars in Cape Town were booked between 20 and 31 December 2011.
While improvements in occupancy were shared by a range of accommodation establishments and attractions, it is evident that budget travel is becoming increasingly important. It is imperative that tourism businesses price according to their respective target market, provide excellent service to all visitors and offer value-added services which leave visitors feeling that the product was worthy and their money well spent.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the findings from our ongoing summer surveys and would like to thank our members again for their participation.
Acting CEO: Cape Town Tourism