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This figure includes all passengers through the domestic and international terminals for the period January to December 2017. It may include repeat passengers, and counts both arrivals and departures. This is therefore not a reflection of tourism figures for Cape Town and the Western Cape. These figures are released by South African Tourism.
This new record for the airport has been achieved due to a phenomenal 20% year-on-year increase in international passengers. In 2016, 1 990 621 international passengers were recorded at CTIA. In 2017, this figure increased to a record 2 391 163 international passengers, an increase of nearly half a million.
Cape Town Air Access, a partnership between Wesgro, the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town, Airports Company South Africa, Cape Town Tourism, and South African Tourism, welcomes these excellent results.
With 13 new routes landed since the project kicked off in 2015, and 14 route expansions in the same period, over 1.5 million seats (both directions) have been added to Cape Town. This is helping turn Cape Town into an important airline hub on the continent, boosting economic growth and job creation in the Western Cape.
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris said that the benefits of this record-breaking achievement for the Western Cape economy cannot be understated. “More passengers to Cape Town International Airport means more tourists, business and leisure, to the Western Cape and South Africa. This will add tens of billions to the Cape economy, and help sustain nearly 300,000 (direct and indirect) jobs in the Western Cape alone. ”
“Wesgro, the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government and many businesses in the tourism sector have been involved in campaigns to ensure that tourists who visit our beautiful province ‘save like a local’. At any given point, international tourists only add about 1% to the population of the province during peak season. All tourists who visit our province must adhere to water restrictions and help us save water, and many tourism establishments have taken steps to drastically reduce their consumption. The feedback we have received from Local Tourism Offices has been positive. Many tourists have enthusiastically contributed to the water saving initiative over the last few months, and we are extremely grateful for this.”
“On behalf of Wesgro, I would like to congratulate the Cape Town Air Access team on what they have contributed to achieving” added Harris.
Deon Cloete, General Manager of Cape Town International Airport said that for the first time in a calendar year, the airport saw more than 2 million international passengers coming to Cape Town.
“This certainly positions us well in triggering the investment programme that will be undertaken in the near future. Although we aim to complete significant projects such as the Realignment of the Runway, Terminal 2 and the New Domestic Arrivals area. There are smaller projects that will be embarked on too, such as apron stands, parkade reconfigurations, fuel tanks and more.”
“Despite the pressure placed on the system by these increased flights, we have pulled together to ensure minimal disruptions for the passenger. We created various experiences to ensure that the passengers’ journey through our airport is pleasurable, as this is our priority.” continued Cloete.
Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde said the figures were as a result of a deliberate, sustained focus on growing tourism to the province. “The tourism sector is one of the fastest growing in our province, aided by more direct flights as a result of our collaborative Air Access project. Each passenger that comes through our airport contributes to creating a new job for a resident. Tourism has the power to change lives by giving people opportunities for employment. The goal we set ourselves through Project Khulisa was to dramatically accelerate the contribution of this sector to jobs and growth in our region, a goal which we, together with industry, are making significant progress on.”
The Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille added: “This growth in the number of people visiting Cape Town is indeed fantastic news for our tourism sector and means that we can continue to grow this sector and create even more much-needed jobs. It also shows that the collaboration with the Air Access team and the Airports Company brings great benefit as more people are now able to connect to Cape Town. Our beautiful city with its diverse cultures, experiences and people has so much to offer the world and we will continue working hard to ensure that we grow the tourism economy.”
“These numbers represent a vote of confidence for the region and together we can ensure continued growth and prosperity for Cape Town and the Western Cape at large” concluded Cloete.