Western Cape angling for UK tourists after SA's exit from travel red list

07 October 2021 - 20:54
Before Covid, nearly 200,000 Brits visited the Western Cape every year, spending an average of R24,000 each. Now that SA is off the red list, The Western Cape wants those visitors - and their money - back.
Before Covid, nearly 200,000 Brits visited the Western Cape every year, spending an average of R24,000 each. Now that SA is off the red list, The Western Cape wants those visitors - and their money - back.
Image: File

Nearly 200,000 UK tourists used to visit the Western Cape every year. And now, after the UK removed SA from its Covid-19 travel red-list, the province wants them back.

Western Cape MEC for finance and economic opportunities David Maynier said the province would take full advantage of the first British Airways flight scheduled between Heathrow Airport in London and Cape Town International Airport for November 1.

The UK is a key source market for tourism in the Western Cape.

“The fact that SA has been removed from the UK’s red list is great news for the Western Cape,” said Manier. “In 2019, about 194,900 UK tourists visited the Western Cape, spending on average R24,200 per tourist,” he said.

Manier described SA’s addition to the red list as a “baffling diplomatic shambles that risked the economic recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector in the Western Cape”.

On the decision to remove SA from the list, he said it “couldn’t have come at a better time, allowing long-separated friends and families to reunite and the many tourists who regularly visit the Western Cape to enjoy our affordable and unique attractions over the summer season.

“Of course, this will also provide much-needed relief for the tourism and hospitality sector, supporting our economic recovery in the Western Cape.”

Part of the plan to woo back tourists includes:

  • Running a promotion campaign on the province's social media accounts @DiscoverCTWC welcoming tourists back to the province;
  • The launch of the “Neverending Tourist” consumer campaign aimed in-market at the  trade and stakeholders, followed by a big drive into the market during UK booking peaks from January 2022;
  • Joining South African Tourism on its virtual platform at World Travel Market London in November; and
  • Inviting UK tourism trade stakeholders and media to experience some of the key experiences and attractions in the province.

“I’d like to thank all those who worked on the campaign to remove SA from the red list. The success of this initiative is a great example of how the public and private sector can work together to achieve common outcomes,” said Manier.

“We will continue to do everything we can to ensure the recovery of the tourism sector by tackling barriers to growth, increasing connectivity to the region and running our award-winning destination marketing campaigns that showcase the best that Cape Town and the Western Cape have to offer,” he said.

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