Tourist figures showed that the Cape tourism market had shrugged off the regulatory issues that hurt numbers in 2015, and was back on a growth trajectory, said Tim Harris, Wesgro CEO, last week at HVS’s inaugural Tourism, Hotel Investment & Networking Conference (THINC) Africa.
According to Harris, the World Economic Forum’s ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015’ ranked South Africa as sub-Saharan Africa’s ‘most tourism-ready economy’. “Six thousand new hotels and accommodation establishments are expected to have opened in SA by the end of this year to meet increasing demand,” said Harris. He added that direct tourism spend had also increased by R4.2 billion, from R4.6 billion in the first quarter of 2015 to R8.8 billion in the first quarter of 2016.
Wesgro would also be working to promote niche areas like food and wine tourism, helping to develop the Cross Cape Cycle route, and make the destination more accessible to visitors through increased direct routes, said Harris.