The hospitality sector in the Western Cape has experienced a positive festive season, based on initial feedback for hotels in the region and according to early reports from FEDHASA Cape members. The healthy numbers seen over the festive season were despite challenges such as load-shedding, visitor perceptions around safety and water restrictions.

FEDHASA Cape is the primary representative body and voice for the Western Cape Hospitality Industry, with many of its members experiencing an improvement in numbers year on year, explains FEDHASA Cape spokesperson Richard Lyon.

A number of members had an increase in revenue, and most maintained a stead occupancy rate. This was driven by holiday makers from other provinces, as well as international travellers such as the English cricket team supporters who visited South Africa for a test series between the two countries.

Christmas day and New Year’s Eve also brought business to the doors of local hotels, with several properties fully booked for celebratory events.

Lyon says: “While it is too early to determine occupancy and revenue figures for the entire industry over the Festive Season, the general sentiment among FEDHASA Cape members is that the season has been very positive. The current feedback provided by member establishments indicates that many hotels have experienced a busy December. This has also been reflected in other sectors, such as at restaurants and attractions, when hotel staff have been requested to make bookings on behalf of guests.”

But it was not just the hospitality industry that had a positive festive season: a recent statement by Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier indicated that the industry had experienced promising growth in domestic tourism. According to Maynier, various sectors had experienced positive visitor numbers, including wine estates, caravan parks and tour operators.

“The industry as a whole is feeling positive about the upcoming year. Tourism is a key sector to improve economic growth and we believe that despite the various challenges faced by the industry, there is nowhere better to visit than Western Cape,” concludes Lyon.

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