It’s time for Africa! Wesgro wants more tourists from the rest of Africa to visit Cape Town and the Western Cape

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Wesgro, Cape Town and the Western Cape’s Official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, has identified attracting tourists from the rest of Africa as a key strategic objective, that will help grow our provincial economy and facilitate job creation.

According to South African Tourism, the rest of Africa accounts for 70% of the total foreign tourist arrivals in South Africa. Cape Town and the Western Cape is already the top destination for tourists from the rest of the continent accessing South Africa by air according to SAT’s latest 2016 report.


To give effect to this objective, our Head of Leisure Tourism, Inge Dykman, will this week attend the Magical Kenya Travel Expo 2017 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi.

Kenya, in particular has been identified as a strategic market for the Western Cape and South Africa. It has the potential to grow quickly and offer a tourist with high value potential.

South Africa received the highest tourist arrivals from Kenya in 2014, but witnessed a decline in 2015 and 2016. However, the Western Cape recorded some excellent results from the Kenyan market last year. In 2016, the province secured the second highest bed nights recorded since the peak of 2014, and the average spend increased by R2200 in 2016 with a total of R28200 when compared with 2015. Moreover, Kenyan tourists stayed between two and three weeks in the province, the highest ever recorded since 2013.

We can also reveal that the Western Cape has experienced a 27% growth in forward bookings by Kenyan tourists between November 2017 and March 2018.

According to research conducted by Wesgro’s Research Department, Kenyan tourists predominantly travel to our country for holiday and visiting friends and relatives. Another favourable reason why Kenyan tourists travel to South Africa is for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE). South Africa is a hotspot for nightlife and local cuisine, and our shopping experiences and social activities are extremely popular.

What is even more exciting is that Kenyan tourists have one of the longest length of stays amongst African markets to South Africa, and Kenyan tourists also have a high repeat travel rate, often returning back for further holidays and visits.

This is in a large way assisted by the Cape being accessible directly by air, following the establishment of a direct route between Nairobi and Cape Town on Kenya Airways. This route was established with the help of the Cape Town Air Access partnership, housed in Wesgro.*

“Our main focus on this mission is to provide valuable information to the tourism trade in Kenya on our destination. This will be supplemented by our trade-and media hosting programme, supported with a marketing campaign to showcase our unique experiences. We are confident that if tourism operators in Kenya are made more aware of the amazing opportunities for travel in the Cape, we will witness an excellent growth in tourism between the two regions” said Inge Dykman, Head of Leisure Tourism at Wesgro.

The Magical Kenya Travel Expo is one of the fastest growing tourism events in the region, and will assist in generating new business through meeting with tour operations, hoteliers, African tourism boards, airlines, tourism associations, and tourism community based organisations amongst others.

“Wesgro is excited about Africa’s enormous potential for growth and development over the next few decades. According to the most recent projections, Africa will be the single biggest and youngest market in the world in the next 30 years, with more than 2.4 billion residents. This offers endless opportunities for Cape Town and the Western Cape, which is well-positioned to be a gateway to the rest of the continent, for both tourism and business. Wesgro is starting early to ensure that our region on the continent is part of, and contributes to this success” concluded Tim Harris, Wesgro CEO.

For more information on tourism in Kenya, and its potential for growth, please find here our Research Department’s ‘Kenya Country Profile 2017’.

*Cape Town Air Access is a partnership between Wesgro, the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government, Cape Town Tourism, South African Tourism, and Airports Company South Africa.

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