Western Cape Anticipates Historic Summer Tourism Surge in 2023


Key Takeaways

  • Western Cape holds the annual ‘Summer Tourism Readiness Dialogue’ anticipating a record-breaking season.
  • Minister Wenger emphasizes collaboration, safety, and skills for a successful tourist season.
  • Seat capacity at Cape Town International Airport for summer 2023/24 is projected to rise by 25%.

The provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, recently engaged with major stakeholders to prepare for what’s expected to be the Western Cape’s most prosperous summer tourism season yet.

Broad Stakeholder Engagement

According to a Western Cape Government report, representatives from various sectors, including airlines, airports, hospitality, and tourism, participated in the dialogue to ensure a comprehensive plan for the upcoming season.

Previous Successes and Upcoming Challenges

“Our collective efforts to prepare for the previous summer season certainly paid off,” said Minister Wenger, per the report.

“Leveraging our joint experience, learning lessons from other destinations and, especially, by working together, we laid the foundation for this success. And we have a lot of work to do for our upcoming season.”

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Summer 2023 Projections

Minister Wenger noted a remarkable 25% increase in seat capacity at Cape Town International Airport for the summer of 2023/24.

Inbound international seats are set to exceed 1 million, marking a first-time achievement.

Acknowledgment and Praise

“We have also celebrated the many significant international awards that seem to be streaming in weekly. This world-wide recognition has not happened by chance. It is the result of co-ordinated, collaborative, and very purposeful actions,” stated Minister Wenger.

Visa Reforms

Minister Wenger expressed her determination to address visa system inefficiencies, emphasizing the importance of the soon-to-be-introduced Remote or Digital Nomad Visa set to be available by March 2024.

Emphasis on Safety

Safety remains paramount.

Over the next season, 250 tourism monitors will be stationed at key locations, with mobile apps connecting them to essential security services.

Additionally, tourism-in-distress programs will be in place for visitor support, complemented by police reservist assistance.

Focus on Skill Development

Ensuring that the tourism sector has the right skills remains a challenge.

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“I am very pleased with the work that has been done including the establishment of a skills forum, which now meets regularly to coordinate the activities of government, private sector and academia,” said Minister Wenger.

What Do We Think?

With a holistic approach encompassing safety, skill development, and visa reforms, Western Cape is set to redefine summer tourism in 2023.

The region’s commitment to fostering stakeholder collaboration is commendable and promising for tourists and the local economy.

Learn more in the entire Western Cape Government report.


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