Record increase in South African tourist figures

first_imgSouth Africa is hailing 2010 as a bumper year in tourism, when numbers of foreign arrivals increased by a record 15.1 per cent.South Africa tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk made the announcement on Thursday, stating the country had received more than eight million arrivals last year, compared to seven million the previous year.“This compares very well in international terms,” he said.“Figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) show that global tourism arrivals [are] estimated to have grown by 6.7 per cent in 2010, which means that South Africa outperformed the global market by more than eight per cent.”Mr van Schalkwyk attributed last year’s FIFA World Cup as a major reason for the record increase, saying more than 309,000 tourists arrived in the country specifically for the tournament – about four per cent of the total arrivals figure for 2010.“South Africa in fact recorded a peak in tourist arrivals in June and July 2010, which is traditionally our low season,” he said.”The World Cup was not only a particular highlight for our country, but also a victory for the entire tourism industry.“The tourism sector did an excellent job of hosting hundreds of thousands of guests and contributed to ensuring unprecedented global exposure for our beautiful destination and its hospitable people.”During last month’s Meetings Africa 2011 conferences, Mr van Schalkwyk said the World Cup had given South African business tourism “a new sense of energy and direction” and proved the country’s ability to host major international events. Mr van Schalkwyk reaffirmed this on Thursday, and called on the industry to capitalise on the benefits sown from the World Cup into the future.“I would like to call on the entire industry to continue to build on this positive affirmation of our country and to aggressively entrench our core tourism markets and attract exciting emerging markets,” he said.”The 15.1 per cent growth in tourist arrivals to South Africa outperformed that of every other region in the world, including arrivals growth of 13.9 per cent for the Middle East, 12.6 per cent for Asia and the Pacific, 7.7 per cent for the Americas, 6.4 per cent for Africa and 3.2 per cent for Europe.”Mr van Schalkwyk said arrivals from the Americas grew the fastest last year with a 37.4 per cent increase from 2009, followed by Asia and Australasia at 34.6 per cent.“Long haul markets grew the fastest in 2010, showing an increase of 21%, and the strong growth of 14% from air markets within our continent is also particularly encouraging,” he said.”The UK, USA, Germany, the Netherlands and France remain the top five overseas source markets. Notable countries where considerable tourism growth to South Africa was recorded in 2010 include India with growth of 29.7 per cent, China with an increase of 62.3 per cent, Brazil with growth of 66.7 per cent and Nigeria with an increase of nearly 10 per cent, albeit from relatively low bases.“We are delighted with these strong growth figures, particularly as it comes so soon after a global economic recession,” he said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: V.Vlast_img

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