Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) reported over 10 million passenger arrivals and departures for 2019, showing a year-on-year increase of 2%.

Despite the drought and other challenges – such as a rise in crime in Cape Town – overall arrivals increased, with an additional 103 000 passengers passing through the airport.

Executive mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato, said the tourism growth continued to show that Cape Town remained an attractive tourism destination.

“We are pleased that visitor numbers have increased, which is a promising recovery after the drought put a damper on tourism. We will continue to work hard to promote Cape Town as it is the backbone of job creation.”

He added that the growth in international traffic at CTIA indicated the success of the Cape Town Air Access team’s efforts with the launch of several new routes in 2019. This included the first direct flight between Cape Town and New York in December.

City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management, Alderman James Vos, said they were optimistic that figures would show significant growth in regional and international arrivals during the traditional peak season for tourists, between January and March 2020.

“For the festive season (December 2019 until March 2020), we expect almost 50 000 travellers to arrive from the UK alone, demonstrating an increase of 30% when compared with the same period last year,” said James.

Meanwhile, based on current flight reservations, Germany shows a projected 20% increase and the US 11%.