Boost for Western Cape as UK Moves South Africa from Red List
Neverending Tourist: Discover the Western Cape
Boost for Western Cape Tourism & Investment
Fully vaccinated visitors to South Africa returning home to the UK will no longer have to endure quarantine. This change is a major boost for Western Cape tourism and inward investment as Brits plan their 2022 holidays, says entrepreneur Penny Streeter, owner of Benguela Cove Lagoon Estate.
Welcoming the removal of South Africa from the UK’s red list of travel destinations, Western Cape Member of the Executive Committee for finance and economic opportunities David Maynier announced a strategy to attract visitors back to the province. This includes promotional programmes on its social media account @DiscoverCTWC and also the "Neverending Tourist" consumer campaign, timed to target the UK’s peak period for booking holidays.
“We are seeing a surge in enquiries from the UK. People want to escape their cold autumn, as well as the shortages of fuel and staff, and possibly empty shop shelves this Christmas. The famous ‘swallows’ are set to return - Brits seeking the sunnier climes and great food and wine here. The currency exchange rate ensures terrific value for a holiday for Brits and other Europeans,” says Penny Streeter.
Once they have visited South Africa, overseas visitors retain fond memories of the country and especially its wine and vineyards, she says. This creates further revenue opportunities from wine sales when they return home:
“Subscriptions to our wine club in the UK skyrocket after the tourist season. Subscribers tend to be loyal; they tell their friends about our wines and that leads to more sales. It is the same in Germany, France and the USA. The lifetime value of each visitor can be huge.”
Interest in Benguela Cove wines has continued to climb following a string of national and international wine awards that Benguela Cove has won. Most recently this included the annual Michelangelo Wine and Spirit Awards, where the estate achieved three Double Gold, three Gold and two Trophy awards. This is the largest international wine and spirits competition in Africa, held in South Africa since 1997.
Neverending Tourist: Discover Investment Opportunities and Fun Things to Do in the Western Cape
Penny Streeter also anticipates new inward investment opportunities from property sales to visitors from overseas. British tourists have traditionally looked to Spain for buying a second home in the sun, but post-Brexit there are major residency restrictions and concerns over property rights.
“With English spoken and great beaches and hotels, Cape Town is a major attraction as an international fun destination. Yet it is only ten hours away by overnight flight, with just one- or two-hours’ time difference with the UK. So, it is easy for a Brit to remain in touch with work while they are here, living in a holiday home.”
“All of us involved in the Hermanus tourism trade - and that’s every shop and hospitality venue - need to be actively marketing for this overseas business. In 2019, some 194,900 UK tourists visited the Western Cape, spending on average R24,200 each. Let’s top that in 2022.
“Even now Brits and other Europeans will be online researching answers to such questions as - what are the best holiday destinations in South Africa? For me, the answer is Hermanus and the Western Cape. As business people, we need to be ready with the answers and good reasons why they should want to visit us.”
Visitors to Benguela Cove can enjoy a ‘Bottomless Bubbly Brunch’ at weekends. Byron Carr performs live jazz every Saturday in November, and The Juan Casey Rock Show is on 11 December. The estate still has some spaces remaining for bookings for Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Day Lunch and a Boxing Day Picnic.