A tale of two?cities: Cape Town

2014-12-28 15:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

American songbird Madison Elle Beer was one of thousands of visitors who descended on Cape Town at Christmas, despite concerns by local tourism authorities that the fear of Ebola would keep foreign holiday-makers away.

Beer, who came to world attention after pop star Justin Bieber tweeted a link to a video of her singing, took a helicopter flip over the Mother City on Tuesday.

“Will miss Cape Town and all the lovely girls I met,” the 15-year-old wrote on Twitter.

This week, the city’s tourism bosses said it was too soon to tell if the fear of Ebola in west Africa would erode the number of international visitors to the city.

On Boxing Day, the Table Mountain cableway buzzed as people waited for at least two hours to get into a cable car to the top of the mountain.

The V&A Waterfront, considered Cape Town’s most popular local attraction, was also packed.

Meanwhile, in the city centre, Greenmarket Square and the Company Gardens were quiet compared with previous years.

However, Nicole Biondi of Cape Town Tourism said arrivals at Cape Town International Airport’s domestic terminal grew by 4% in November and international arrivals by 3% compared with last year.

She said visitor figures for December and January would be processed “in due course”, so it was impossible to measure the effects of Ebola just yet.

It seems Asian travellers have been the ones who have been particularly panicked about heading to African countries.

Last month, Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy told City Press its Asian trade contacts and tour promoters had noted “significant cancellations” of up to 90% due to fears around the disease.

Meanwhile, city officials issued warnings and worked around the clock to clear the city’s beaches after 8m waves lashed the coastline in the early hours of Boxing Day.

Early on Friday, lifeguards rescued three bathers who were washed out to sea by towering waves that swept the popular Kalk Bay Harbour.

Coastal roads between Hout Bay, Kalk Bay and Muizenberg, and along the False Bay coastline, were flooded.

The SA Weather Service issued a high seas warning of waves of up to 9m high between Cape Columbine and Plettenberg Bay on Friday.

Cape Town’s disaster management spokesperson, Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, said: “A general caution is issued urging sightseers and bathers to stay away from harbours, sea walls and rocks, and exercise caution at tidal pools due to massive swells and rough sea conditions.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.