Cape Town is likely to see more German and Dutch tourists this summer, reported the Weekend Argus recently, as the visitors from the UK continue to stay away due to that country’s recession. The UK was our city’s largest source of international tourism business until 2010, but its proportion of tourism business has dropped significantly. South African visitors will dominate over the forthcoming summer season.
German tourists increased by 9% and Dutch visitors by 4% last year relative to 2010. Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold said: “We will continue to work with our industry partners, as well as trade and media from that region, to further strengthen these tourism ties”. Cape Town Tourism hosted a group of 100 German travel agents from Gebeco, a tour operator specialising in China and the Far East, in June. Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde said the growth was due to the “great work being done by the provincial government, its tourism destination marketing agency Wesgro, Cape Town Tourism, and other roleplayers, ensuring that our city is an attractive place to visit for tourists from around the world”. Wesgro took over the marketing of the Western Cape in April, so cannot be lauded for any marketing success to date, nor for any success in 2011, very little marketing activity being evident.
According to Barbara Zieme, Cape Town Tourism’s representative in Germany, German tourists are attracted to the city’s natural beauty, ‘wildlife’ and culture. Germany is the world’s fourth strongest economy, and currently is keeping the Eurozone afloat. It is one of the most travel-happy nations in the world. More than 1 million Dutch residents are expected to travel internationally.
A local study has shown that more locals will travel to Cape Town than last year, and they are planning a beach holiday specifically. The survey was conducted before the punitive petrol price increase earlier this month, so one hopes that this intention remains.
A geographic region that Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro appear to pay little, if any, attention to but that is showing good tourism interest and bookings for the Whale Cottage Portfolio is Scandinavia, especially from Sweden.
Summer bookings generally still are very slow for Cape Town, but the festive season period is showing healthy enquiry numbers and bookings. Cape Town and the Western Cape is coming out of its worst winter season ever, so any increase in tourism activity is most welcome.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage