An Excellent High Season Reported for Cape Town
The optimism displayed by Cape Town’s tourism sector ahead of the 2013/2014 season has been confirmed with tourism businesses reporting an excellent high season overall.
There was growth in international arrivals at Cape Town International Airport over the entire 5 month period, starting in October 2013 with an almost 15% increase year on year, and ending in February up about 8%. This represents a record number of international arrivals for February. Regional Africa arrivals by air increased each month with the exception of December, and culminated in a 17% increase in February 2014. Domestic arrivals saw small increases from December 2013 onward.
Cape Town Tourism’s Accommodation Performance Review and Forecast Survey showed that accommodation performance in Cape Town continued on an overall upward trend. Revenue per Available Room (RevPar)* increased by an average of 16% per month between October and December 2013 when compared with the same period in the previous year.
Overall the Cape Town accommodation sector finished 2013 ahead of the class, with an almost 5% increase in Average Room Rate (ARR). This sets Cape Town above the global average of 3% growth in ARR as reported in the latest Hotel Price Index.
Tourism businesses, including attractions, tour operators, vehicle-hire companies, restaurants and wine farms were surveyed in March 2014 about their performance in recent months. 75% said that their actual booking figures for January and February 2014 were better than business performance for the same time in the previous year.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS
Traditionally, Cape Town hosts more international tourists than domestic between October and March. However indicators show a levelling out of international and domestic visitors this past season.
Key source markets South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany and the Netherlands continued to make up the top five countries of origin. Nevertheless Regional Africa flexed its muscle with a year on year average growth of almost 3% between October 2013 and February 2014. Emerging market India finished in the top 10 source markets for the season, while China and Brazil came in just outside the top 10.
Beautiful scenery was the attribute visitors most commonly associated with Cape Town before their visit. This was followed by interesting history and culture (58%) and friendly people (53%). In terms of visitor satisfaction, friendliness of the local people was the biggest satisfier with value for money and the quality of accommodation in Cape Town also rated highly.