By all counts December was the bumper season the hospitality industry was waiting for to waiver some of the losses incurred during the previous two plus years.
Tourism business owners were upbeat about the festive trade mentioned that a few trading days this season that surpassed previous record turnover days.
Sales seemed to peak in the week leading up to Christmas Day with some businesses reporting buoyant business just after the 25th. The Overstrand was operationally ready to receive visitors, and this paid off with positive holiday experiences. Appreciative comments about how well the traffic officers managed traffic flow in the face of load-shedding and how clean the towns were are well received and will surely benefit the Overstrand’s economy in months to come.
International visitor numbers are increasing, and tourism seems to be regaining traction after the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic endured during the previous two years.
December tourism stats and numbers include:
- 348 events recorded in December 2022. A 59% increase on 219 events of December 2021. The full events calendar kept travellers and residents busy. There were two festivals: Hermanus International Food & Wine Festival with about 2 000 tickets sold and the Stanford Village Festival that was free to the public to attend.
- 4 543 walk-ins to the four tourism Visitor Information Centres (VICs) were recorded. This is a record number for the past three years.
- 1 700 people visited the Danger Point Lighthouse during the 11 days it opened in December. This compares positively with the 2164 visitors received from April till end November 2022. Visitors came from all corners of South Africa, France, India, Canada, Namibia, Switzerland, Scotland, Australia and Germany.
- Betty’s Bay Parkrun was ranked in the 4th place for South African ParkRun participation on 31 December with 487 finishers and Hermanus in 10th spot with 415. These numbers are for one day’s participation.
- Harold Porter Nature Reserve received 7 150 visitors. This is a 12% increase on the previous year.
- Kogelberg Nature Reserve had 57% more visitors during the month with 2 017 people as opposed to the 1 287 previously. The source market was mostly Northern Cape and Gauteng with a significant amount of new visitors.
- 36 teams registered for the fifth hosting of Hot Summer of Touch on Kleinmond Main Beach on 18 December. With eight players per team that is 288 participants on the day.
• 40 entries were received for the Strandskloof, Gansbaai 4x4 day.
- 340 athletes participated in the Gansbaai Half Marathon and 500 for the 2 lesser distances.
- Approximately 600 tickets were sold for each of the three live music shows held at Stanford Hills. The Jeremy Loops performance sold out.
- Western Cape Traffic count measured a high of 15160 vehicles at the Kleinmond turn-off on the R43 arriving to the Overstrand on 15 December. This was followed by 13 427 arriving on Monday 26 December. Traffic count was lowest on Sunday 25 December with 10 035 vehicles arriving.
- The Saturday and night markets recorded good sales and traders making record turnovers.
- A New Year’s eve wedding in Hemel-en-Aarde had 290 guests staying over in Hermanus.
- December had the second highest visitor numbers for 2022 going out from Kleinbaai Harbour - 5 482 individuals. October had the highest figures for the year with 6 656 people.
- There were multiple day gift markets included: Disakloof, Son and See Hermanus, Gansbaai, Curro Hermanus, Kleinmond.