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Western Cape, Cape Town authorities highlight growing tourism, trade links with the US


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Western Cape, Cape Town authorities highlight growing tourism, trade links with the US

18th November 2022

By: Rebecca Campbell
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The US was now the Western Cape province’s largest single source of tourists and the province’s biggest single export market, highlighted provincial Premier Alan Winde on Thursday evening. He was addressing a function to mark the inauguration of the first direct flight connection between Cape Town and Washington DC, by US carrier United Airlines.

This development had taken place during the recent Covid-19 pandemic. He also thanked the US and US-based companies for their assistance to Cape Town and the Western Cape during the pandemic.


As a result of these developments, the relationship between the Western Cape and the US had gone to “a different level”. The province had signed a memorandum of understanding with the US, to promote bilateral trade. He expressed the hope that Western Cape exports to the US would increase.

“Two nations, South Africa and the USA, have found new opportunities,” he affirmed. “We need to take these tourism numbers, these trade numbers, and really ramp them up.”


He reported that, regarding all international tourist flows into the province, some were still going to lag behind their pre-Covid numbers during the coming peak South African summer holiday season. But others were already set to exceed their pre-Covid numbers.

The tourist market that had most strongly recovered was the US, confirmed Cape Town Economic Growth MMC James Vos, in his address to the function. Last year, the number of American tourists visiting the city had reached 60% of their pre-Covid levels.

He congratulated Cape Town International Airport and its staff for all their hard and successful work in strengthening the city’s and province’s international air links. He said that they made Cape Town proud. “As a city government, our mission is to land more flights, to bring in more travellers and investment.”

He further stated that, with the introduction of direct flights between Cape Town and Washington DC, the city authorities would immediately launch a ‘Visit Cape Town’ campaign in the US capital and its surrounding region. The aim was to create tourism-related jobs in every household in Cape Town. “We can do this!”

“This is the first ever non-stop service, Washington DC to Cape Town,” emphasised United Airlines regional director Bob Schumacher. “We’ve spent the past year planning and preparing for this.” This service was part of the airline’s international expansion and it now offered more non-stop flights between the US and South Africa than any other carrier. It also displayed United’s confidence in the growth of the South African air travel market. The service would be operated using Boeing 787 Dreamliner new-generation widebody airliners.   


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