UK visitor numbers surge to South Africa

UK tourist arrivals in South Africa rose 11.5% in the period January to August 2016, compared to the same period last year, according to the latest figures released at WTM 2016 by South African Tourism (SAT). 

A total of 285,230 UK tourists visited South Africa during that time. The surge follows a number of trade initiatives run by South African Tourism to improve travel agents’ knowledge of the country, including its UK roadshow in March, as well as SAT School, running in November in conjunction with British Airways.

SAT School, which targets British travel agents who want to learn more about how best to sell South Africa, takes place on 14 November in Manchester, 15 November in Birmingham, 16 November in Bristol and 17 November in London. All those who attend have the chance to win a place on a fam trip with British Airways and SAT in 2017, to either the Garden Route or Kruger National Park.

Air capacity to South Africa is increasing to accommodate rising demand, with both British Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines launching direct flights from London Gatwick to Cape Town later this year.

To complement its existing flights from Heathrow to Cape Town, British Airways is introducing a new direct service departing from Gatwick three days per week from 24 November. Thomas Cook Airways’ seasonal flights to Cape Town will depart Gatwick three times per week from 15 December until 20 March 2017.

UK country manager for South African Tourism, Tolene van der Merwe, commented: “It’s significant that two airlines are launching direct flights from Gatwick to Cape Town for the first time. These new routes reflect the continuing increase in UK visitor numbers to South Africa.”

SAT also recently launched a UK-specific website: The site features an interactive map which enables visitors to select specific provinces in the map and tour the array of experiences available within that region.

Source: Travel Daily Media