It has been a difficult two years for the tourism sector globally, but especially for South Africa, after being placed on travel ban lists numerous times thanks to Covid-19 infections and variants. Finally, however, there is light at the end of a very dark tunnel, as four Western Cape destinations have been included in the list of the Top 100 most loved destinations in the world in 2021.
The well-known Western Cape tourist destinations of Stellenbosch, Knysna, Cape Town and Hermanus have made it onto the Top 100 Most Loved Destinations in 2021, with Pretoria – the “Jacaranda City” – in Gauteng also making the cut, according to the Tourism Sentiment Index, a travel data intelligence solution.
Stellenbosch was listed #23 globally, following Knysna at #19, while Hermanus ranked at #41 and Cape Town at #54.
Tourism Sentiment Index (TSI), a travel data intelligence solution created by destination marketing agency Destination Think, analysed over 1.6 billion online conversations and articles about 21,330 global destinations to compile the list.
The ratings for these five destinations come as the tourism industry is still weathering the storm of the protracted Covid pandemic. Welcoming the results, the Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency said in a statement that their research had seen an uptick in local and domestic visitors in the province. “Passenger arrivals through Cape Town International Airport’s domestic terminal reached a high in December 2021, representing an impressive 66% recovery rate when compared to the same period in 2019. International arrivals also performed well in October, reaching their peak in November 2021 with a 41% recovery rate. Although in December international passenger arrivals were less than a third of what they were in the same month in 2019, they grew by 28% when compared with figures from the previous year.
The top three global spots went to: Udaipur in India with a score of 37.72, the Whitsundays in Queensland, Australia (37.76) and Sunshine Coast in Queensland (37.90).
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