Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille says the COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly left a dent within the tourism trade, however the resilient sector is recovering.
“South Africa affords travellers unparalleled magnificence and affordability, making it an irresistible vacation spot,” De Lille stated when addressing a media briefing on the sidelines of Africa’s Journey Indaba, which is underway in Durban.
De Lille stated the sector is geared to catapult inbound tourism numbers past pre-COVID-19 ranges.
“Attaining this monumental purpose requires a united entrance: authorities, non-public sector, and all tourism stakeholders becoming a member of forces to redefine the journey expertise in our beloved nation.”
She stated 2022 heralded a resurgence, with almost 5.8 million guests gracing South Africa’s shores, together with 4 million from Africa. This was a 152.6% enhance from 2021.
“We’re not fairly on the 10 million arrivals of 2019 however relaxation assured, our tireless collaboration with the non-public sector and Africa will take us there and past very quickly.
“Because the world reawakens, vacationers are flocking again to South Africa, enticed by our unparalleled pure magnificence and the heat of our folks. We’re broadcasting a transparent message – South Africa is open for tourism, welcoming enterprise, and eagerly awaiting vacationers from throughout Africa and the globe.”
De Lille stated the world is rediscovering South Africa, and can that won’t solely attain however will surpass pre-COVID numbers.
“Our willpower and unity will gentle the best way to a brighter future for South African tourism. From a home perspective, we have now seen an unbelievable resilience, with Q1 2023 efficiency surpassing pre-pandemic ranges and people of Q1 2022,” De Lille stated.
De Lille stated vacationers from Europe contributed essentially the most spend of R10.8 billion, adopted by Africa with a collective spend of R9.3 billion.
In response to current statistics, a formidable 2.1 million guests have been recorded, a 102.5% enhance in comparison with the identical interval in 2022.
The African continent led the best way once more, with 1.6 million arrivals, adopted by Europe’s 387 000 and the Americas’ 104 000 guests.
De Lille stated a big driver of those outstanding figures is on account of lifting of journey restrictions and affordability.
“After two years of restrictions and confinement, travellers are wanting to discover wide-open areas, and South Africa affords these in abundance,” De Lille stated.
Over 500 000 Zimbabwean travellers journeyed to South Africa between January and March 2023 in comparison with 643 000 in the identical interval in 2019 and 173 000 in 2022.
Mozambique adopted because the second-largest supply market, boasting over 354 000 arrivals between January and March 2023.
In response to De Lille, South Africa affords a various vary of fascinating locations for travellers, with Gauteng taking the lead in worldwide arrivals, spend and mattress nights.
Worldwide guests are inclined to spend most of their nights within the Western Cape, adopted by Gauteng. The Japanese Cape, Northern Cape, KZN and the North West draw vacationers to their distinctive charms.