Things are looking up for Cape Town. The city, often listed as one of the world’s finest tourism destinations, is set to experience a surge in tourism arrivals for the upcoming summer season.
Eased COVID-19 restrictions in South Africa have enabled the country to return to a semi-normal existence with the easing of the curfew, the lifting of the alcohol ban, and events now being allowed (subject to capacity limits).
Lifted restrictions against South Africa by several countries have played a huge part in the surging desire of overseas tourists making their way back to South Africa. Not only will cruise liners be returning, but airlines have jumped onto the bandwagon and are ramping up their flight schedules to South Africa.
AIRLINES HEAD BACK TO CAPE TOWN
Many carriers are starting up flights to Cape Town to meet the rising demand by travellers wishing to visit SA’s prized tourist hotspot.
A number of international airlines will begin offering direct flights to Cape Town. Air France will introduce daily flights between Paris and Cape Town from 31 October. UK-based airlines British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have also announced that they will bring forward the restart dates of their Cape Town flights amid the surging demand for tickets to the Mother City.
Lufthansa will fly from Frankfurt to Cape Town five times a week through the European winter (South African summer) while Swiss-based leisure airline, Edelweiss, has resumed its Cape Town-Zurich seasonal service with two flights a week. The seasonal timetables will run until the end of March 2022.
In other exciting news for Cape Town, Lufthansa will start flying from Munich to the Mother City on 31 October. This is a seasonal service which will operate three times a week, increasing to five flights a week from the end of November.
REOPENING OF ‘MOTHBALLED’ HOTELS
Numerous hotels around the country have been shut since March last year. The slump in tourism arrivals led to job losses as well as bankruptcies at many hotel properties across the country. The current surge in tourist arrivals is good news for the local hospitality sector as several “mothballed” hotels will now be able to reopen their doors.
Legacy Hotels & Resorts, which operates several tourist hotels in Sandton and in Cape Town’s V & A Waterfront will reopen selected hotels as a result of the increased tourism flows. The group’s Commodore Hotel in Cape Town will reopen its doors on 17 November.
“The relaxation of travel restrictions from major inbound travel routes has been long-awaited and our hotels are ready to welcome our international tourists back with open arms, although we do believe this will be a slow return, building gradually over the next 18 months,” said Robert Hodson, COO of Legacy Hotels & Resorts told Tourism Update.
TOURISM BOOST FOR CAPE TOWN
Lufthansa Group’s General Manager for Southern Africa & East Africa, Dr André Schulz, told TravelNews that the group was seeing an uptick in forward bookings.
“For Cape Town, we see a good booking outlook, mainly for inbound. More and more German, Swiss and European tourists are coming back, and we are happy to support the restart of the South African tourism industry by offering more capacity into Cape Town,” he said.
Schulz said the group was optimistic about business to and from South Africa, especially since the SA had been removed from the UK’s red list as well as Germany’s list of high-risk countries.
“We are putting capacity into the market because we see, wherever restrictions are lifted, people want to travel, especially for the upcoming high season in Cape Town,” Schulz told TravelNews.