CapeNature’s strong focus on brand awareness and innovation led to eco-tourism earnings growing by a record 60.5% compared to the previous financial year. It has already surpassed its pre-COVID-19 revenue target of 2019/20. With only a few weeks left before the financial year end, the entity is well on its way to achieving record tourism performance. This is notwithstanding a two-year price freeze and limited access due to COVID-19 regulations.
Despite the closing of borders and the suppressed economy, CapeNature is seeing an increase in the number of visitors frequenting its reserves. Visitor numbers increased by 61% in the third quarter compared to the same period in 2020/2021. Top destinations and attractions remain the Whale Trail at De Hoop Nature Reserve, Algeria in the Cederberg Wilderness, Kogelberg Nature Reserve outside Kleinmond and Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve near Swellendam.
Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell congratulated the entity, adding that: “This comes at a perfect time as recovery performance for the 2022 provincial tourism season looks very promising with international visitors starting to make their way back to Cape Town and the Western Cape. CapeNature’s resilience during very trying times is to be commended.”
CapeNature’s eco-tourism offerings are proudly home grown in that 99% of visitors are domestic. The excellent performance is attributed to CapeNature’s efforts to continue to develop new and innovative products. Creative marketing and promotional campaigns kept the brand top of mind and proved to be validated with CapeNature being crowned 1st runner up in the World Travel Market – Reigniting Africa Travel and Tourism Awards. Megan Oberholzer, Portfolio Director: Travel, Tourism and Creative Industries at Reed Exhibitions said:
“The judges absolutely loved the #NatureStaycation concept. In a time where travellers felt disoriented and confused about holiday options and possibilities, this campaign simplified travel and made the process feel safe and secure. It inspired confidence and clearly outlined opportunities for travelers.”
Along with these accolades, driving innovation with key partners, specifically in the online and digital space, has seen the expansion of product offerings easily available on the e-commerce booking portal for self-service and the recently launched free for download CapeNature mobile app. CapeNature CEO, Dr Razeena Omar says, “We entered 2022 with strong support from our loyal local visitors, driven by an improved customer service model and innovative projects that have been pushing to excel visitor confidence.
I am grateful to see our visitors continue to enjoy world-renown experiences in wide-open spaces right in our backyards, with health and safety measures in place. The value and spirit of collaboration saw us through this crisis, and I have to thank all our visitors, partners and stakeholders for their ongoing loyalty and support.”