Cape Town – SA's appeal as an amazing holiday destination continues to increase, especially now that visa issue have abated, the UK wrestles with the effects of Brexit and safety concerns make travellers the world over reconsider their destination choices.
The National Department of Tourism has confirmed that the current trend in the last few months of growing
tourism arrivals in South Africa is continuing unabated. And this just on mid-year arrivals, with the bumper SA summer season still looming.
A total of
822 416 tourist arrivals were recorded for July 2016, which is an increase
of 12.2% (89 525) compared to the same month of the previous year. There
was an increase of 131 002 tourists in July 2016 compared to the same month in
Biggest increase from Asia and the Middle East
the total tourist arrivals for the period January-July 2016, to
5 791 504, which is an increase of 14.9% (751 388) compared to the
same period of the previous year.
greatly encouraged that all regions are experiencing an increase in tourist
arrivals,” said Victor Tharage, Director-General of the Department of Tourism.
" This can only serve to motivate
both government and the tourism industry to increase its efforts in terms of
marketing the country as a value for money destination, ensuring that once
tourists arrive, they receive excellent service across the board.”
visitors from Lesotho continue to be the biggest African market increasing by
29% in July, overall visitors from Africa recorded the least growth at 9%, including
Indian Ocean Islands arrivals.
approaching for Lesotho nationals in SA: Here's how to legalise your stay
While the US
continues to be South Africa’s largest source market reporting a 19% increase
for the year to date, growth from China was the biggest at a healthy 64% increase
during July and 63% for the year overall. China replaced India by moving from 16th place to become South Africa’s
15th source market. Overall
arrivals from Asia increased by 47.7% for the year.
Some 65 million Chinese are expected to travel abroad this year according to UNWTO figures - 10 million more than the SA population according to the latest census - and one in ten tourists worldwide. With less than 6% of China’s population currently holding a passport, there remains enormous potential for growth in overseas travel, and overall tourist to South Africa.
Chinese are coming: What SA can expect from this tourism boom
in SA’s tradition markets also did well for the period. Increase in tourist
arrivals from Europe saw a 17.5% growth, Australasia 16.4, Germany increased by 21.1% and the UK by 11.7% from Jan-July 2016. Even
non-traditional source markets such as India grew 28.1%.
SEE: Air Mauritius: Connectivity across Africa an imperative
The USA was the largest overseas source market for South Africa.
Compared to July 2015, the Netherlands has also replaced Nabimbia as the 8th biggest source market moving up from 9th.
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