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Western Cape’s domestic tourism industry fights back against recession

Cape Town and the Western Cape’s domestic tourism industry has managed to navigate the first part of the current economic crisis relatively well. This is according to the long-awaited 2008 domestic tourism report released by SA Tourism. The total annual spend on domestic tourism increased from R3.6 billion in 2007 to R3.9 billion in 2008, which represents an increase of 8.3%. The Western Cape’s national share of total revenue of domestic trips in 2008 is 15.1%, second only to KwaZulu Natal that enjoys a 30.5% share…

Cape Town and the Western Cape’s domestic tourism industry has managed to navigate the first part of the current economic crisis relatively well. This is according to the long-awaited 2008 domestic tourism report released by SA Tourism.

The total annual spend on domestic tourism increased from R3.6 billion in 2007 to R3.9 billion in 2008, which represents an increase of 8.3%. The Western Cape’s national share of total revenue of domestic trips in 2008 is 15.1%, second only to KwaZulu Natal that enjoys a 30.5% share. Commenting on the results, Cape Town Routes Unlimited CEO Calvyn Gilfellan says: “Compared to international tourism, domestic tourism makes a lesser but very vital contribution to the local economy. It is regarded as the backbone of the local industry and therefore enjoys strong support from us. “

“Last year, at the commencement of the recession CTRU undertook a very exciting, focused domestic marketing campaign called “Another Reason to Visit”. We have reason to belief that this campaign, SAT’s Shot’ Left campaign, industry initiatives and efforts of local tourism organisations like Cape Town Tourism and Knysna Tourism have done a lot to cushion the severity of the recession,” continues Gilfellan.

“Despite the positive results in terms of an increase in domestic tourists and spend, the Western Cape experienced a decline in the number of trips undertaken in 2008. Domestic trips decreased by 8.9% compared to 2007, with 4.1 million trips being undertaken in comparison to 4.5 million in 2007. Our share of domestic trips in 2008 is 12%, third after KZN (32%) and Gauteng (12%). “Given that we have not yet seen the back of the current economic crisis, it is expected that domestic travel will even further be pressurised in the first three quarters of 2009,” says Gilfellan.

With the clock relentlessly ticking off the minutes towards Africa’s biggest ever sporting event, CTRU is implementing another exciting marketing campaign to address current tourism industry challenges. Dubbed “Beyond the 90 Minutes”, this marketing campaign galvanizes the efforts of the private sector, local tourism organisations and the tourism trade to package and promote the magic of the Cape Town and Western Cape tourism offerings before, during and after the Soccer World Cup. Now is the time for all industry players to cooperate, collaborate and invest in win-win marketing partnerships in the world’s most beautiful destination, concludes Gilfellan.

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