After Wet Winter, Cape Town Looks to Draw Back Tourists

Cape Town South Africa
Photo by Ben1183/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

After a relatively wet winter, Cape Town is looking to draw back tourists after the destination experienced a headline-grabbing water shortage earlier this year, officials with South African Airways told Luxury Travel Advisor and other media at a recent event in New York City.

“The water continues to flow in Cape Town,” said Todd Neuman, executive vice president, the Americas with South African Airways, emphasizing that the destination had never actually run out of water. “They did a fantastic job with water conservation.

The crisis, however, did have an impact on the airline’s business to the destination, Neuman said. Since then, a relatively wet winter, particularly in the Western Cape, has filled the region’s dams back to approximately 65 to 70 percent capacity.

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“They have had huge rains,” agreed South African Airways CEO Vuyani Jarana. “I think we can send customers there again.”

Looking ahead, Cape Town will continue to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s centennial for the rest of the year, and 2019 will see South Africa’s 25th anniversary of democracy, Neuman said. It will also mark South African Airways’ 85th anniversary of operations, as well as 50 years serving the United States.

The airline’s tour operator brand, South African Airways Vacations, will have a number of new itineraries available to celebrate the country’s milestones in 2019. In addition to a discounted “Captivating Cape Town” package, the company will also be offering itineraries that combine a Cape Town stay with explorations of the Cape Peninsula, Cape of Good Hope, Pilanesberg National Park and the Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge. Further afield, the company is also introducing packages to Botswana and Ghana.

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