Plettenberg bay
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    • Plettenberg Bay and Mossel Bay in the Western Cape saw the largest inflow of rich visitors in absolute numbers this December.
    • But smaller beach towns saw bigger percentage increases, if you are counting affluent holiday-makers.
    • Lightstone and Tracker determined which towns were the most popular by monitoring increases in vehicle traffic volumes, then stripping out lower income earners who returned home.
    • For more stories visit Business Insider South Africa. 

    Richer holiday makers flocked to two mainstay destinations on the Garden Route this December, according to an analysis from data analytics group Lightstone, in collaboration with Tracker.

    But in percentage terms it was smaller beach towns, many on the South Coast, that saw the biggest jump in holidaymakers.

    Lightstone and Tracker determined which towns were the most popular this past December by monitoring the increase in their vehicle traffic volumes, then stripping out lower income earners who returned home, to cities such as Polokwane, rather than heading for paid-for holiday accommodation.

    See also: Coronavirus could cost SA R200 million and 1,000 jobs – just in tourism

    Counting those richer people only, the large towns of Plettenberg Bay and Mossel Bay in the Western Cape saw the highest inflow of visitors in absolute numbers, when comparing November with December.

    Margate on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast came in at number three in terms of new visitors in December, compared to what the population had been in the month before.

    “The influx of visitors to the Garden Route (Mossel Bay and Plettenburg), shows how the popularity has grown in the last several years with the coastal towns working hard to draw visitors with unique attractions and amenities,” says Linda Reid, Lightstone’s chief commercial officer. 

    Other coastal towns that made the top ten list in terms of visitor numbers, for richer people, include Jeffrey’s Bay, Stilbaai, Hermanus, and Groot Brak. 

    While bigger towns saw the highest number of visitors, smaller towns saw far bigger jumps in their populations in percentage terms over December. For Plettenburg the inflow of visitors between in December stood at 182% its average November population, and in Mossel Bay that number was at 152%.

    But in Struisbaai, with a smaller population in the rest of the year, the companies recorded an increase of 358% in the number of people in December. For Stilbaai that increase was at 331%, followed by Southbroom on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal at a 310%. 

    Compiled by Estrelita Moses.

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