Eastern Cape tourism on the up!

According to the Eastern Cape Annual Tourism Barometer 2015 based on statistics drawn from a variety of sources, the Eastern Cape accounted for 4.4% of South Africa’s 9 549 236 international tourist arrivals in 2014. Gauteng took the lion’s share, accounting for 49.4% of international arrivals but this is mostly driven by foreign tourists landing at OR Tambo Airport.

All other provinces – the Western Cape (18.6%), Mpumalanga (14.1%), Limpopo (13.0%), KwaZulu-Natal (11.8%), Free State (7.3%) and North West (6.6%) – had greater number of tourist arrivals.

The 304 888 foreign tourists who visited the Eastern Cape spent an estimated R2.4 billion, about R500 million more than in 2013, and stayed on average 9.5 days. This means that foreign tourists visiting the Eastern Cape, put down roots rather than just passing through. Most of the arrivals came from Germany (15.4%), followed by the United Kingdom (14.7%) and United States of America (12.7%).

In terms of bed nights sold in the Eastern Cape in 2014, international travellers accounted for 2.8 million bed nights, which was a 3.5% share of the national total.

Domestic travellers on the other hand accounted for 13.1 million bed nights sold for an 11.3% share of the national total with local travellers making 3.2 million trips to the Eastern Cape, spending an estimated R3 billion in total direct value in 2014.

Travel and tourism employed 32 917 people directly in the Eastern Cape in 2014, 5% of the total number of 655 609 nationally and contributed R93.3 billion (3%) to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product in 2014.

MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Sakhumzi Somyo explains that “the Eastern Cape now boasts a 1.6 fold increase in domestic tourism to the province or some 1.2 million more tourists. The release of the tourism barometer is to be celebrated as the start to more intelligent decision-making in the tourism industry in the Eastern Cape. Through such intelligence, we can and must do more to promote tourism in the Eastern Cape,”

Report from Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) reprted from a press release published on 3rd Match 2016. A copy of the barometer is available for free from www.dedea.gov.za