Cape Town reports record-breaking holiday season - and it's not over yet

2016-01-07 09:30 - Louzel Lombard
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Cape Town - According to preliminary figures and sentiments from Cape Town’s attractions, the City of Cape Town has revealed it is currently experiencing one of the busiest ever holiday periods so far.

Table Mountain Cableway and Robben Island have revealed record-breaking visitor numbers, with other big attractions also sharing positive forecasts.

SEE: 26 Cheap-cheap things to do in Cape Town
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway had a record December with 28% more visitors than in December 2014, reportedly because the weather was extremely favourable and they were open every single day in December.

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Robben Island Museum (RIM) recorded the highest increase in number of visitors in December 2015, an increase of 43% more tourists visiting the museum than in the same period in 2014.

A total of 46 793 tickets have been sold compared to the 33 495 in December 2014; this number being the highest ever, beating the 2010 record of 43 208 tickets when the country hosted Soccer World Cup.
The V&A Waterfront’s visitor figures measured on the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre only, have shown an increase year on year for the month of December. They also welcomed approximately 180 000 visitors on New Year’s Eve, over a period of 24 hours.
In 2014, 24 million visitors visited the property, and all indications are that 2015’s numbers will be roughly the same. 
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens have welcomed almost 115 000 people over December 2015, excluding the very popular Summer Sunset concert audiences. 

READ: Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts tickets open

Since the opening of the Tree Canopy Walkway or ‘Boomslang’ in May 2014, Kirstenbosch has seen a staggering increase in annual visitors from 800 000 to just over 1 million. 

The increased numbers can be attributed to a variety of factors, including events such as Cape Town 7’s at the beginning of December, and then the England vs SA test which saw a strong contingent of English supporters taking advantage of the strength of their currency.
The weakening rand definitely boosts the local tourism sector as the exchange rate remains favourable to international visitors, who can then afford to spend more; with locals opting to rather holiday in their home country. The school holidays once again ensured a big amount of domestic visitors.

READ: Time travel: Weak Rand gives Brits a SA holiday for the price it was 10 years ago
“It is important to note that the busy festive weeks in December are very important to the tourism industry, but they do not make a summer season which in fact stretches from October to after Easter,""Cape Town Tourism Communications Manager, Nicole Biondi says. 

"So we are very happy with the December school holiday period and look forward with cautious optimism to a successful summer season still ahead as it comprises of six months of business. We’re also looking at 366 days of tourism this year, as we’re a year-round destination”. 
“The economic impacts in particular are encouraging as they benefit the people of Cape Town and inspire job creation. Cape Town has certainly become a place to work, play and stay and as a City we continue to support this by creating the enabling environment.” - Councillor Garreth Bloor for the City of Cape Town says. 
The final holiday season figures will be released at the end of January 2016.

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