Citizen Reporter
4 minute read
21 Sep 2021
11:29 am

Cape Town gears up for summer season with affordability campaign

Citizen Reporter

The city also reported an uptick in vaccinations and decreased infections as South Africa exits the third wave of the pandemic.

The City of Cape Town is gearing up to welcome domestic and international travellers as summer approaches.

The city is promoting a new “pocket-friendly” campaign with the message that the city is an affordable tourist destination.

“We want to show that Cape Town is an affordable destination. The ‘Explore Captivating Cape Town’ local marketing campaign, and the ‘Find Your Freedom’ international campaign includes branding in airports and billboards in key source markets,” said mayoral committee member for economic opportunities, tourism and asset management, James Vos.

The city also reported an uptick in vaccinations and decreased infections as South Africa exits the third wave of the pandemic.

Cape Town gears up for festive season
Birds fly around Roman Rock Lighthouse in False Bay, Cape Town, South Africa, 9 September 2020. Roman Rock Lighthouse has a distinct adjoining feature, a private helipad. It is the only lighthouse in South Africa to be built on a single rock in the middle of the ocean. The lighthouse was erected by Joseph Nourse, Commodore of the British Royal Navy. The building took four years, from 1857 to 1861, with gale-force winds and high sea levels making construction impossible for three weeks of every month. The prefabricated tower was sent from England and shone its first light on 16 September 1861. South Africa’s tourism sector is struggling due to the drop in international travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

“We’ll continue with efforts to ensure a successful summer season by tackling barriers to growth in the tourism and hospitality sector,” said Western Cape finance MEC David Maynier.

Wesgro’s acting CEO, Yaw Peprah, said there had been a gradual uptick in air confidence.

“We are particularly thrilled that four out of our top six tourism source markets have, in the past month, permitted the resumption of travel for fully-vaccinated tourists,” said Peprah.

Wesgro is a tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape.

UK travel still concerning

Meanwhile, South African tourism bodies are lobbying the British government to be removed from the travel red list.

This is after UK travellers reported highly negative experiences after visiting the country.

A woman who did not wish to be named returned to the UK from a trip to South Africa to attend the burial of her brother in Gauteng, described her ordeal upon her return.

She reported being “placed in a UK prison-like type of quarantine reserved for those returning from South Africa”.

ALSO READ: Red list leaves travellers from SA treated like plague carriers, but India gets away with it

Cape Town gears for festive season
South Africa was kept on the UK’s red list, meaning travellers from South Africa are banned from entering the UK. Picture: iStock

Peprah said they were hopeful the UK would relax travel restrictions to and from the country soon.

“The festive season is fast approaching and traveller confidence is increasing with the ramped-up national vaccination efforts,” said Peprah.

“We are also looking forward to welcoming back friends from our neighbouring provinces to enjoy a world within one province on offer in Cape Town and the Western Cape.”

There’s been a promising recovery at the Cape Town International Airport’s domestic terminal for the first two weeks of September, with the domestic passenger numbers reaching 49% of 2019 levels.

The periods compared are 1-12 September 2021, and 1-12 September 2019.

ALSO READ: Petitions of no use in getting South Africa off British govt’s travel red list

The international passenger terminal recovery sits at 24% of 2019 levels for the first two weeks of September, which is the highest monthly recovery percentage since the restart of international travel in October 2020.

“We are pleased to see the renewed growth in domestic and international travel as restrictions are eased and airlines return to the airport and offer passengers more travel options. We are ready to welcome passengers back to our airport and continue to focus on health and safety. Airport users will also experience new and improved facilities and processes when they visit the airport,” says Mark Maclean, acting general manager of Cape Town International Airport.

The 2021 year-to-date passenger terminal recovery is 44% for domestic passengers and only 14% for international passengers, compared to 2019, but these figures, especially on the international side, are expected to gain more momentum as the South African summer season approaches.

International carriers are gradually adding capacity into the Cape Town market.

Lufthansa will be increasing the Frankfurt-Cape Town service to three flights per week from 24 September, and Emirates are planning to increase the Dubai-Cape Town service to a daily flight from 31 October onwards.