The recent decline in the value of the South African Rand makes Cape Town an even more affordable luxury holiday destination. One British pound currently buys you around R21.00 – the cost of a double latte - while a dollar will buy you R14.00.
“Compared to other long-haul destinations such as Australia or South East Asia, Cape Town has always offered exceptional value for money, but the recent depreciation of the rand has made it even more attractive,” says Tim Harris, Chief Executive of Wesgro.
Cape Town and the Western Cape are already well-established luxury destinations offering a world-beating mix of five star hotels and lodges, fine cuisine and wine, and natural beauty. The province itself boasts more than 20 world-class 5 star hotels including several world-renowned Relais & Chateaux properties such as the award-winning Delaire Graff Estate, Ellerman House, and The Cellars-Hohenort.
“The weaker rand means that luxury is now accessible to more people,” explained Veronique Rossouw the Sales and Marketing Manager for the Liz McGrath Collection that includes a portfolio of 5 star hotels that cater for the overseas market. For example, tourists will on average pay £50 less for a night in a luxury room at any of the Liz McGrath Collection’s three properties, than they would have a year ago.
The rand has dropped more than 20% against the dollar since the start of the year and analysts predict that ongoing weakness in global equities and commodities markets will keep pressure on the currency in the foreseeable future. This means that tourists will be able to stay in style at the fraction of the cost.
Research compiled by Wesgro shows that the UK was the Western Cape’s biggest international market, recording a total of 257,450 tourist arrivals in 2014 and accounting for 64.1% of all UK travellers to South Africa.
Harris says that Cape Town and the Western Cape are especially popular with British tourists because as destinations they offer a combination of beaches, mountains, wine farms, adventure tourism, and some of the world’s best gastronomy all within a radius of a few hundred kilometres.
“British Airways fly direct from London to Cape Town daily and if you’re visiting South Africa on holiday for up to 90 days, you don’t need a visa unless you are travelling with children.” New visa regulations require that children under the age of 18 years must travel with a certified copy of a birth certificate that lists the child’s details as well as both the parents’ details.