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July arrivals show tourism continuing to grow
The growing number of tourism arrivals in South Africa is continuing on an upward trend. For July, a total of 822,416 tourist arrivals were recorded, 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 2016. This brings 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.
“We are 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 the 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.”
When comparing July 2016 with July 2015, the increase in tourist arrivals for the following regions are: Asia increased by 47.7%, followed by Middle East (35.1), North America (26.1%), Central and South America (24.4%), Europe (17.5%), Australasia (16.4%). The least increase was recorded in Africa including Indian Ocean Islands (9%).
All South Africa’s major overseas markets performed well in July 2016. Amongst traditional overseas markets, the USA grew by 19.8%, while Germany increased by 21.1% and the UK by 11.7% from Jan-July 2016. Even non-traditional source markets such as India (28.1%) and China (63.7%) also experienced growth during the same period.
Lesotho was the largest African source market, while the USA was the largest overseas source market for South Africa. Compared to July 2015, the Netherlands moved from the 9th to 8th as a source market replacing Namibia. China replaced India by moving from 16th place to become South Africa’s 15th source market. Belgium replaced Italy, becoming South Africa’s 18th source market.
For overseas markets, the highest increase in tourists was from China (64%) moving from 5402 in July 2015 to 8858 in 2016. France also had an additional 3,520 tourists visiting South Africa in July 2016 compared to July 2015 which is a 40% increase. Lesotho experienced the highest increase for the African markets with an additional 37 404 tourists which is a 29.9% increase from July 2015.