Speaking at a function on Monday to mark the hotel’s 25th anniversary, Wood said the company expected to see tourism figures return to pre-Covid levels towards the end of next year.
“International arrivals into Cape Town are sitting at about 75% of pre-Covid levels,” Wood told TimesLIVE.
“I think this year we will go close to pre-Covid levels and it will be a catalyst for further rebound. I think we will start to see growth (beyond pre-Covid levels) at the back end of 2023.”
The group was also encouraged by the rapid recovery of conferencing, with Sun City predicted to beat its 2019 conference revenue this year.
However, the tourism sector needed government help to remove blockages such as onerous visa requirements which remain a deterrent for long-haul travellers, said Wood.
“The industry is quite frustrated with the lack of urgency, particularly when it comes to the visa regimen,” Wood said.
“We need to remove the barriers for people coming in.”
Visa-free status for some long-haul travellers, or visas-upon-arrival, were options to make SA more attractive, Wood said.
Removing blockages could see a massive growth in long-haul visitors, from the current 2.5-million mark to about 10-million, he said.
“It is all there for us because we are such a beautiful destination.”