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South Africa's tourism destination shows recovery

A sky wheel is seen at sunset at V&A Waterfront, a popular beach-side tourism attraction, in Cape Town, South Africa, on May 16, 2022. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)

South Africa's popular tourism destination, the Western Cape Province showed a "solid recovery" in the tourism and hospitality sector in April, the provincial government said Tuesday.

CAPE TOWN, June 1 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's popular tourism destination, the Western Cape Province showed a "solid recovery" in the tourism and hospitality sector in April, the provincial government said Tuesday.

The province, which has Cape Town and other tourist attractions, saw a rise in air passenger traffic and "significant recovery rates" at key attractions, with some attractions recording 100 percent and more growth, it said in a statement.

The province said more than 448,000 people visited its 27 attractions in April, which amounts to 61 percent of the numbers in April 2019, while three sections of the iconic Table Mountain National Park showed over 100 percent year-on-year growth, and Agulhas National Park, including Africa's southernmost tip, received over seven times as many visitors as in April 2021.

Visitors wait for baboons in the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town, South Africa, Oct. 27, 2021. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)

International and domestic passengers both recovered to over 70 percent this April and George Airport passengers fully recovered when compared to April 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic started. Hotel occupancy rose to 52.4 percent from 37.9 percent in April 2021, representing a recovery rate of 87 percent when compared to April 2019, official statistics showed.

The figures were released as global airlines continued to reopen routes to Cape Town with interest in establishing routes between Cape Town and its new markets like the United States and Belgium.

The tourism and hospitality sector is a major job creator in Western Cape, contributing about 15.5 billion South African rands (about 1 billion U.S. dollars) and supporting 174,982 direct jobs in 2019. ■