2014 was a good year for tourism in Cape Town. The Cape Town International Airport recorded its highest number of annual arrivals to date exceeding the boom years of 2007/2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Other top attractions also smashed visitor records – the V&A Waterfront received over 24 million visitors in 2014, while the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden showed an increase of 28% which was largely attributed to the popularity of the new Treetop Canopy Walkway or ‘Boomslang’ – clearly demonstrating the power of reinvention in managing attractions. This is good news for Cape Town as South African tourism has felt the effects of the Ebola virus and the new visa regulations. Fortunately the tourism industry has been identified by the Western Cape Government as a key industry for job and GDP growth over the next 5 – 7 years through Project Khulisa.
For the hotel industry, the Western Cape outperformed all other provinces and recorded phenomenal revenue growth of 19.2% per available room for the first nine months of 2014. The mid-market hotels in Cape Town have enjoyed in excess of 25% revenue growth per available room according to Joop Demes, CEO of Pam Golding Hospitality. Currently 11 hotel projects are in the pipeline or near completion which ensured a collective investment in excess of R3.5 billion with 2,000 jobs created. Trends are showing increased visitors from the BRICS and in particular India, while there is an upswing in regional visitors from Namibia.
Tsogo Sun, the leading hotels, gaming and entertainment company in South Africa and member of Accelerate Cape Town, plays a key role in tourism in Cape Town and South Africa. With exciting hotels in their Cape Town portfolio like Southern Sun The Cullinan and the Southern Sun Cape Sun, and the group’s flagship property in Gauteng, Montecasino, Tsogo Sun is always looking at how to add value to the traveller’s experience. Their refurbishment programme in the Cape has seen R40 million invested into The Cullinan and R100 million into the 537-roomed Southern Sun Waterfront hotel. The building of an underground parking for 100 cars is the start of exciting plans for the Southern Sun Cape Sun in the heart of the CBD.
Tsogo Sun Operations Director, John van Rooyen is also Vice-Chairman of the Cape Town Tourism Board and has immersed himself in the Western Cape tourism industry focusing on connecting all key stakeholders and the City’s major events to implement a 52-week calendar aimed at attracting visitors in all months of the year. John comments, “Our partnership with Accelerate Cape Town plays a vital role in connecting major role players in the region and driving joint initiatives to position the city as a destination of choice for business and leisure tourism. We are extremely excited about Tsogo Sun’s ongoing investment in the growth of the industry in the Cape and the impact this should have on attracting new tourists”.