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The Overberg one of the best tourist destinations

15 Feb

The Overberg one of the best tourist destinations

A record breaking number of travellers visited the Western Cape during the holiday season, bringing a much needed cash injection for businesses in the tourism industry.

The provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said expectations of a record-breaking season were realised with more than 400 000 visitors being recorded.

She added: “This is excellent news for the economy and for the hundreds of thousands of jobs supported by tourism in the province.”

A number of tourist attractions in the Overberg were highlighted in this report that states that these regional attractions, including the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden in Betty’s Bay, Cape Agulhas Lighthouse, Arniston Hotel and Spa, the Shipwreck Museum in Bredasdorp and Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary outside Stanford recorded a foot count of nearly 20 000 visitors cumulatively.

The monthly tourism report compiled by the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) trade, investment, and tourism promotion agency, Wesgro, indicates that the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden saw a 17.7% year-on-year growth rate in December 2023, and a positive increase in visitor numbers to the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse of 5.1% and Arniston Hotel & Spa of 2.0% was also recorded.

Overstrand Executive Mayor Dr Annelie Rabie said: “The continued rise in visitor numbers started early and the Overstrand experienced a more equitable geographic spread of economic benefits during our peak festive season”.

Stanford’s festive lights installed by Checkers as part of a seasonal campaign was a hit. Close to 10 000 people attended the two Stanford Sunset Markets held on 25 November and 15 December. This record attendance contributed to vendors reporting their best ever December sales since the market was founded in 2006.

A poll conducted by Overstrand Tourism showed 70% of respondents reported increased business performance when compared to the booming 2022-’23 festive period, 22% reported the same performance and 8% informed that their trade was below the previous year’s level.

The second Grootbek in Kleinmond entertainment series in December doubled up on tickets sold during the previous year.

The Hot Summer of Touch Rugby in Kleinmond brought 32 participating teams to the beach.

Outdoor activities such as walks in nature, swimming in tidal pools and at beaches, visiting markets, and exploring the region were listed as the favourite experiences.

Gansbaai businesses also gave a confident thumbs up on their business earnings. It was a continuation on a good year with August and October being Kleinbaai Harbour’s busiest months indicating that although tourism activity might quiet down during June and July, tourism has evened out to a large extent.

“Following what has been a record-breaking tourism season for our province, we must all harness this momentum towards further growing our economy in 2024. This bumper season was made possible by the thousands of hard-working hospitality staff, backed by law enforcement bodies and disaster management officials who ensured visitors as well as residents, were safe.

“I look forward to us all maintaining this positive economic momentum into upcoming tourism seasons,” concluded Premier Alan Winde. “Through this we can create even more jobs.”

Date: 31 Jan
Souce: Hermanus Times


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