SA Tourism

Positive Growth for SA Tourism

28th May 2024
Thomas Davidson

SA Tourism is experiencing a steady comeback, with the latest international arrival figures from Statistics South Africa showcasing a robust and growing industry. Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille is encouraged by the 15.4% increase in international tourist arrivals from January to March 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.

Africa Leads the Way

South Africa’s tourism industry is being driven by a surge in arrivals from the African continent, which accounted for 74.5% of all international arrivals between January and March 2024. Notably, Zimbabwe experienced a 21.8% increase in tourist arrivals, while Ghana recorded a remarkable 249.4% growth during the same period.

SA Tourism

Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille.

Key SA Tourism Statistics

The article highlights several key statistics that showcase the growth and diversity of South Africa’s tourism industry:

  • Total global tourist arrivals from Jan to Mar 2024: 2.4 million (15.4% increase compared to 2023)
  • Arrivals from Africa: 1.8 million (74.5% of total arrivals)
    • Arrivals from Zimbabwe: 613,675 (21.8% increase)
    • Arrivals from Ghana: 7,904 (249.4% increase)
  • Arrivals from the Americas: 118,194 (12.4% increase)
  • Arrivals from Europe: 420,727 (8.6% increase)
    • Arrivals from the UK: 125,420 (5.3% increase)
    • Arrivals from Germany: 98,954 (9.9% increase)
    • Arrivals from the Netherlands: 37,548 (9.9% increase)
    • Arrivals from Russia: 9,329 (9.6% increase)
  • Arrivals from Asia: 49,741 (25.4% increase)
    • Arrivals from China: 11,017 (82% increase)
  • Arrivals from Saudi Arabia: 2,387 (31.7% increase)
  • Arrivals from the UAE: 321

“The tourism sector is a significant contributor to the economy and job creation. We are determined to continue with this momentum. South Africa remains attractive and accessible for all travellers to enjoy”.

Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille
Cimso software

Strength in Global Markets

Travellers from other parts of the world also continue to appreciate South Africa. The Americas (North and South America) registered a 12.4% growth in tourist arrivals, while Europe saw an 8.6% increase, with the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands leading the way. Asian markets also exhibited significant growth, with a 25.4% increase in arrivals, particularly from China, which saw an 82% rise in the first three months of 2024.

Driving Economic Growth

The SA tourism sector contributes to the economy and job creation. The country’s efforts to enhance accessibility and attract diverse travellers, such as the visa-waiver scheme with Ghana, have proven to be a winning formula for the industry’s growth. As South Africa continues to build on this momentum, the tourism sector is poised to play a crucial role in the country’s economic development and job creation.

South Africa’s tourism industry is experiencing a remarkable resurgence, driven by a surge in arrivals from the African continent and strong growth in global markets. By embracing diversity and implementing strategic initiatives, the country is positioning itself as an attractive and accessible destination for all travellers, ultimately contributing to its economic growth and job creation. This momentum is a testament to the resilience and potential of the SA tourism sector.

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