Minister Alan Winde
Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism
Western Cape Government
Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, has welcomed a British Airways decision to introduce more direct flights on its London to Cape Town route during the winter season.
British Airways today (3 December 2013) announced it will increase its services from London to Cape Town by three flights a week from May 2014.
The airline will offer an extra 657 seats when it introduces three Boeing 777-200ERs on the route.
Speaking at the official announcement at the V&A Waterfront this afternoon, Minister Winde said the move would led to an increase in tourism between the Western Cape and the United Kingdom.
Minister Winde added that while the Western Cape was globally popular as a leisure destination, there had also been an increase in business and events tourism. In addition, as Cape Town geared up for the World Design Capital next year, the Western Cape, and indeed the African continent, would see substantial tourism inflows.
“In 2012, 438 023 visitors travelled from the United Kingdom to South Africa. The Western Cape was one of the most popular destinations for UK travellers, welcoming a share of 181 886 of the total number of visitors. The UK is certainly one of our most strategic routes and that is why we are thrilled at the announcement made today that British Airways has committed to extra seats in the off-peak season.”
Minister Winde said air access was critical in increasing tourism.
“The power of direct flights is clearly demonstrated by visitor numbers. In 2012, 227,149 visitors flew between Cape Town and Germany and 93,659 visitors flew between Cape Town and the Netherlands. In short, direct flights do matter. That is why we are currently developing an air access strategy, where we are investigating the establishment of further direct routes between Cape Town and strategic destinations. If we are serious about tourism we need more direct routes.”