Trends indicate we’re set for increase in international tourists during 2015/16 peak season

Continued upward trends indicate the Western Cape will welcome an increase in tourists this peak season.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said figures from the Cape Town International Airport show an average 11% increase in the number of international arrivals over the recent period.

“Last month, there were just over 69 000 international arrivals at Cape Town International Airport. This is up 10 000 from October last year. Between July and October, we have noted an average 11% increase in the number of international arrivals.

“Last year international and domestic arrivals to the province were at a three-year high.  Establishments across the province welcomed a record number of visitors. I have been told by a number of tourism establishments that they are nearly fully booked for the season.

“We know that for every 12 tourists who visit us, one job is created in South Africa. In the Western Cape the tourism sector currently employs 204 000 people and Project Khulisa has the goal of adding up to a further 100 000 jobs to the sector in the next five years. The anticipated increase in arrivals may be great news for job creation in our tourist sector; tourism delivers a significant employment boost for entry-level jobs.

“We have a great service ethos in South Africa and are known globally for service excellence. This is a major drawcard, particularly for repeat visitors.”

Deidre Davids, Communications Manager: Cape Town International Airport, said: “The month of October marks the beginning of the peak season at the airport and lasts through until the month of March, with March typically being the busiest month of the year. This time of year we see our seasonal carriers resume their operations such as Condor, Edelweiss, Air France and Lufthansa.

“During the peak season we also see airlines both on the International and the Domestic front ramp up their frequencies. We anticipate November to show good growth as well as the remaining upcoming months in line with positive growth which we saw during the winter season. The estimated peak season growth between September 2015 and March 2016 is anticipated at 3% compared to the previous year.”

Minister Winde said this growth was being driven by the Western Cape’s traditional markets, which were not as severely impacted by the introduction of stricter visa regulations last year.

“The Western Cape currently welcomes 1.5 million international visitors each year. We want to increase this to 2 million and I believe much of that growth will come from our traditional markets, but also strategic emerging markets such as China.

“Between 2009 and 2012, the number of arrivals from China to the Western Cape increased by 154%. Following the introduction of the new visa laws, the number of Chinese tourists decreased by 45%.”

Minister Winde added that he was confident that recent concessions made in respect of the visa laws would start reversing the downward trend we’ve seen from strategic emerging markets.

“There will be additional visa facilitation centres, the option to allow accredited tour operators to lodge visa applications, biometrics on arrival and ten-year business visas for Chinese travellers. We urge the national government to move swiftly in ensuring these concessions are implemented, and communicated to our embassies.”


International Arrivals 53 115 17.58 %
Regional Arrivals 7 356 15.46 %
Domestic Arrivals 328 177 9.68%


International Arrivals 45 388 5.95 %
Regional Arrivals 7 155 8.9 %
Domestic Arrivals 313 674 10.28%


International Arrivals 49 848 8.98%
Regional Arrivals 6 816 10.22 %
Domestic Arrivals 323 275 11.62%


International Arrivals 69 603 17.6 %
Regional Arrivals 8 025 8.04 %
Domestic Arrivals 356 328 9 %