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Statement by Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities 

Things are definitely looking up for Cape Town tourism! International passenger volumes for May and the first week of June saw a recovery rate of 18% when compared to the same period in 2019 which is the highest rate achieved this year, according to our aviation partner, Air Access.

On top of that, more countries, such as the US, are relaxing international travel restrictions while Singapore Airlines will resume flights to Cape Town International Airport from 1 July.

A few months ago I put together the City’s Tourism Task Team to help get the industry through these tough times and also focus on the future prospects. It enjoys a high level of support from across the sector as well as our official destination marketing organisation, Cape Town Tourism.

I am pleased to say that we are implementing campaigns to stimulate supply and demand for domestic and international markets, including continued funding of the Air Access Initiative to boost flights to Cape Town, as well as pocket-friendly campaigns to make products and experiences more affordable.

Furthermore, we instituted a Tourism Ten-Point Strategy in which we detail specific goals in how we will recover the industry. As a result, we have seen the hospitality and tourism sectors claw back gains after a tough 2020. In-bound flights to Cape Town are rising, and restaurants and local tourism providers have seen a resultant uptick in business.

On the domestic front there was slightly less good news as the first week of June saw a material contraction in the recovery rate likely due to the third wave of Covid-19 infections and the additional lockdown restrictions.

In light of this, I once again urge national government to ramp up the rollout of the vaccine and to make sure that all measures are in place for the next phase of the vaccination plan when over-40s will be eligible for their shots from the beginning of July.

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