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Even through South Africa’s technical recession and the Western Cape drought, foreign tourism rose by 2.4% in 2017, building on a 12.8% increase in 2016, while domestic travel showed the greatest increase since 2014, rising 4.2% in 2017.

“The odds have been against us, what with a constrained economy, a drought, tourism visa issues and questions around electricity supply,” says Wayne Troughton, CEO of HTI Consulting, “Yet despite this, we’ve never before witnessed the levels of interest we’re seeing right now from international and local operators wanting to expand or launch into, specifically, Cape Town, with the CBD being high in demand.”

Cape Town remains the country’s top tourist destination. The city was named the World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination at the 2018 World Travel Awards in Lisbon, and the International Congress and Convention Association ranked the Mother City as the best business tourism city in Africa.

Demand for hotels in Cape Town has grown exponentially since 2012. Between 2012 and 2017, the occupancy and average daily rate (of the Cape Town market as a whole grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 3% and 10.7% respectively.

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