Capetonians Grab a Slice of the High Season Pie

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

World Tourism Month in September once again signalled the reasons why, when Cape residents say they are getting their houses in order for the peak season, they mean business. In so doing, they derive optimum returns from the highest foot traffic through the Western Cape during this period.

Owners of properties attached to the hospitality trade, as well as of holiday accommodation in and around the city, see the four weeks stretching from builders’ holidays through to mid January, as a good part of their financial lively hood. Players across this market benefit from high holiday rentals and seasonal rates, as well as from increased employment and consumer spending at retail and entertainment outlets.

As a result is increased demand seen on property professionals in Cape Town, in whose interest it is to go that extra mile in meeting the demands of potential investors from upcountry and abroad.

Western Cape Tourism shows visitors to Cape Town to comprise foreigners, regional visitors from Namibia and African countries, with a breakdown of where domestic travellers hail from. Of these visitors many will be staying in residential properties of one kind or another, range from tenants in holiday houses, that are either the second homes of property owners or belong to those who vacate their homes for lucrative holiday rentals , to guests at bed and breakfast facilities and guesthouses, as well as residents of holiday house exchange programmes.

Increased tourism traffic to the City is seen in the Western Cape Tourism statistics, showing an overall increase in the fourth quarter of 2011 from October to December of 14.5% achieved when compared to the same period in 2010. During the fourth quarter in 2011 a total of 215,645 international arrivals came through the Cape Town International Airport. Broken down into three month periods it shows arrivals in October of 54 731, increasing in November to 74 004, and peaking in December to 86 910, with this 17.1% increase the highest during the three months. In addition is an overall increase of 14.5% achieved when compared to the same period in 2010.

Regional arrivals at Cape Town International totalled 19 338, showing a 15.5% year-on-year increase for the same period, with the highest period in December at 26.8%, followed by November with 11.7%, and October at 8.1%. The total number of domestic arrivals at Cape Town International in quarter four of 2011 was 951,178 showing overall growth of 4.1%, with an increase across all three months of the quarter, with the highest in December 4.5%, to 4.1% in November and 3.6% in October.

Also notable are similar levels of local and international visitors to the area, as seen in 48.7% domestic, and 47.7% who were from overseas, all in need of some form of holiday accommodation.

And not to be underestimated is increasing numbers of domestic visitors to Cape Town in this period, where 26.5% originate from the Western Cape itself, 9.6% from Gauteng, 1.9% from the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal respectively, 1.2% from the Free State, 1% from Mpumalanga, 0.9% from the Northern Cape and North West each, and 0.3% from Limpopo.

By now owners of properties are in the process of completing final maintenance projects, holiday home owners will have employed the services of holiday letting agents, and alternative plans should be in place for rentals that may not materialise during peak season.

For those lucky families who have their house exchanges in order, travel plans and insurance packages will come together for when foreign nationals from across the globe take over each other’s homes, gardens, cars and in some cases their pets.

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