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Positive Signs for Domestic and Regional Tourism

Domestic Tourism enjoyed a significant upsurge in September 2018, with trips in and around South Africa increasing by 8,5% when compared to the same period last year. This also included an increase in holiday trips taken by South Africans during this period.

In total, 12.9 million South Africans have travelled during the period of January to September 2018, with two million trips recorded for holiday purposes.

The domestic and international tourism statistics were released by SA Tourism’s Strategy, Insights, and Analytics department this week.

“These are encouraging signs for domestic tourism when one compares them to the same stage as last year,” commented Sisa Ntshona, SA Tourism CEO.

“This recent statistic shows that despite the economic barriers facing South Africans, there is still an appetite for travelling and we need to work closely with our Trade Partners in South Africa to ensure that they continue to ensure competitive and favourable pricing towards local travellers.”

While the signs on the Domestic front are positive, there were mixed returns on the International Tourism front for South Africa.

Africa land market arrivals continued to grow, reflecting 3,1% growth when compared to the same period last year. Malawi and Zimbabwe arrivals showed significant growth.

Africa air market arrivals also saw a 7,1% growth with arrivals from Angola and DRC leading the way with visitors to South Africa.

“South Africa remains a favourite destination for African Travellers and we are excited to see this growth. When the new Visa reforms get implemented for travellers from the African continent in the near future, I am confident we will see even better growth,” said Ntshona.

The Americas – North and South – have maintained growth in their region. North America, showed slight growth with an arrivals increase of 1,5% in comparison to the same period last year. South America was impressive with 10% growth and in particular Argentinian arrivals dominating with an increase of 29% when compared to last year.

Europe, Australasia, and the Middle East saw declines in overall arrivals when compared to the same time period as last year.

“We have recognised and acknowledged that it has been a challenging year for the South African tourism industry, but with recent announcements in regards to Visa reforms, we could see a turnaround and renewed interest from international travellers wanting to come to South Africa,” concluded Ntshona.

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