The cycle tour has turned March into the second best moth of the year for tourism and created a second festive season for Cape Town, says Ms Janine Myburgh, President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“You can see this simply by looking at the airport statistics which show that the numbers of passenger arriving in Cape Town in March is only exceeded by the December arrivals.”
Last year, for instance, the number of passengers on domestic flights to Cape Town in March was 343 641, just 1 000 less than the figure for December. The total number of arrivals on domestic, regional and international flights was more than 430 000 which was only 7 000 less than the December figure.
“That’s only part of the story,” said Ms Myburgh. “Many people drive to Cape Town and bring their families with them. This makes good business for the whole range of accommodation establishments and boom time for restaurants.”
The Cape Epic took place in the middle of the month and attracted overseas entrants and their support teams. The Epic was a smaller event in terms of entrants but it did spread tourism into the country areas and that is very important for the Province.
She pointed out that this year we would also have Easter and Human Rights Day as well as school holidays for all the provinces in March making it a very strong month for domestic tourism.
“On top of that we have the rand at near record lows so that will make the Cape even more appealing to foreign tourists so we could see December records broken,” Ms Myburgh said.
“We may be enduring some economic misery at the moment, but March should bring us relief from the gloom. It will also give us a lot of positive international television exposure and that has to be good for the whole tourism industry,” she said.