Published on : Friday, July 28, 2017
The tourism sector is integral for the Western Cape economy, and the province is widely regarded as SA’s most attractive tourism region. The sector currently contributes about 9% to SA’s GDP. The National Development Plan considers the tourism industry as one of the main drivers of economic growth and employment.
Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde said, “I am pleased to announce we have added 26,000 jobs to the tourism sector, taking us closer to our goal of adding up to 100,000 jobs by 2019.” He added, “In line with our objective to position the province as a business destination, we have increased the value of conference bids secured from R280m in 2014, to R425m in the 2016-17 financial year. This year alone, we have added more than 400,000 new two-way international airline seats to make it easier for visitors to reach us … Improved air access played a role in our increased tourism numbers. In 2016, international tourists spent R18bn here, up from R14bn in 2014.”
The tourism sector in the region has managed to achieve success in spite of troubling economic times in the country. Winde said, “We believe the tourism sector, which is not rand hedged, has the potential to pull us out of recession, and to save and grow jobs. Tourism can help SA to course-correct its current economic trajectory.”
Tim Harris, CEO of the province’s investment and tourism promotion agency, Wesgro said: “Through innovative approaches to leisure and business tourism promotion, we have helped minimise the effects of various industry challenges, such as seasonality, keeping the Cape at the forefront of SA’s tourism industry. We have a number of events lined up for the rest of this year and we are working towards another record-breaking year.”