Cape Town’s international tourism season is only just beginning
Findings from Cape Town Tourism industry surveys conducted in November and mid-December 2010 confirm that more domestic visitors arrived for the holidays, albeit in many cases at the last minute.
Although 60% of accommodation establishments polled did not notice a year-on-year increase for the period October to November 2010, 57.7% of respondents reported a surge in occupancy figures since the beginning of December 2010, largely due to increased numbers from the domestic market.
“It’s important to remember that our international peak tourism season is from end-January till the end of March,” says Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, “so it’s too soon to tell what kind of a tourism season we will end up with, but our partners and members are predicting that it will not be a bumper season, although some are reporting an above-average season.”
Airports Company South Africa reported a 4% increase in arrivals (domestic and international) for October and November 2010, though the majority of these arrivals were from within South Africa.
Accommodation providers have indicated that small groups, couples and families are their predominant guest profiles. An ever-increasing number of guests made their bookings online and used this channel to access special offers. Half of the accommodation providers indicated that they had put reduced rates online during October and November. The UK remains our top international source market.
Reports also indicate that many bookings are being made at the last minute – no less than 78.9% of bookings were made within the month leading up to the guest’s stay.
To date, despite there being some evidence of visitors coming because of, or returning after, the World Cup, there is no major trend to suggest that there has been an upsurge of World Cup-inspired arrivals. However, the numbers may escalate as Cape Town moves into its peak international tourism season.
Cape Town Tourism will survey its membership again in February 2011.