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October 4, 2016

Sub-Saharan Africa: More Than 4.9 Million Tourists to South Africa in the First Six Months of 2016

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South Africa continues to enjoy a strong growth trajectory in tourist arrivals with a 15.4% increase overall for the first six months of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.

south africa map
Photo by PeterHermesFurian/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The 15.4% translates to more than 4.9 million tourists from across the globe. Asia leads the growth with an increase of over 40% with close to 162 000 tourists coming from this region during this period. Europe still dominates as the key source market with 697 373 tourists coming from Europe. This is 14.7% increase when compared to the same period last year. 

North American travellers coming to South Africa increased by nearly 18% while  Central and South American tourists  increased by 17%. Australasia’s tourist arrivals to South Africa grew by 10.8% during the same period.

Africa exhibited strong growth with a 14.4% increase in travellers coming from the rest of the continent, which signifies a strong recovery from 2015. 

Acting Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism, Sthembiso Dlamini, is delighted with these results, “Tourism continues to grow in South Africa. We are really excited by the significant growth we have seen out of Asia as China is one of our key source markets. We are also delighted to see the growth on tourist arrivals from the rest of Africa. In a difficult 2015, we continued to focus on building brand South Africa and we are pleased to see this paying off. The overall growth speaks volumes about the efforts made by private and public industry stakeholders to further enhance travel opportunities to the country.” 

“The positive increase is central to what we aspire to achieve as a country – to create more jobs, have a sustainable and transformed industry that can accommodate more tourists, as well ensure that our industry continues to contribute positively to the GDP,” Dlamini concluded. 


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