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The festive season is already kicking off in the Mother City and Cape Town Tourism says it is anticipating yet another bumper tourist season for businesses across the city.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to descend on the city over the next few weeks, to enjoy the charm of Cape Town and the entertainment and hospitality offered by its hotels, catering establishments and residents – an economic boom for the hospitality industry.

“The impressive increase in tourists from some of our key source markets shows that by implementing successful strategies we can increase the number of tourists to our city and the benefits for our residents,” said Mayco Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos.

According to ForwardKeys, the online site that monitors global tourism trends, Cape Town is set to receive almost 50 000 travellers from the UK alone over the December 2019 to March 2020 period, an increase of 30% from the same period last year. This is based on flight reservation data, which indicates there will be a 20% increase in visitors from Germany and an 11% rise in arrivals from the US.

Vos said he was focusing on making his directorate the “growth directorate of the City”. “This means that we focus our energy on attracting investment, which in turn creates jobs and leads to economic growth.”

Cape Town Tourism chief executive Enver Duminy said tourism across the city contributed almost R15 billion annually to the local economy and was driven by almost 150 000 direct and indirect employees in the sector.

Cape Town Tourism played an active role in optimising safety across the city.

“We recognise that the primary role in safety and security belongs to the SAPS and local law enforcement agencies but we collaborate where possible to enhance the efforts being made,” Duminy said.

“We are working with the various players in communities, government, and the private sector to maximise security at local tourist attractions.”

The safety of tourists on Table Mountain had been identified as a matter of great concern.

“We are grateful for the safety monitors that have been deployed on Table Mountain thanks to our national Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane,” Duminy said.

“I believe it is this kind of multi-party, collaborative, and complementary activity that will be key to maximising safety for both international and local visitors during tourist high season.”

Last year, 2.6 million international passengers arrived at Cape Town International Airport, a 9.6% increase from the previous year.

Originally reported by Amber Court, IOL

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