Laura Maudlin - Feb 5, 2024
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The tourism industry in South Africa is experiencing significant growth, as evidenced by the latest international arrival data released by Statistics South Africa covering the period from January to December 2023. The total number of international tourist arrivals during this period reached 8.5 million, which marks an impressive 48.9% increase compared to the same period in 2022.

African nations are driving growth in the tourism industry. South Africa is leading the way by welcoming 6.4 million visitors from other African countries, accounting for 75.6% of all tourist arrivals.

Zimbabwe and Kenya have also recorded an impressive increase in tourist arrivals, with Zimbabwe experiencing a 70.8% increase and Kenya recording a staggering 99% surge.

The American market has also played a significant role, with tourist arrivals showing 39.8% growth compared to the previous year. The United States alone represented 353,975 arrivals, marking a 35% increase.

Furthermore, the European markets have shown strength, contributing 1.2 million tourist arrivals, a 38.2% increase compared to the same period in the previous year. The United Kingdom remained the top European source market, with 356,160 tourists visiting South Africa.

Asian markets have also exhibited noteworthy growth, with 199,308 arrivals representing a remarkable 69.1% increase. India contributed 79,774 tourists, representing a 43.7% growth, while China witnessed a massive 204.9% surge with 37,164 arrivals.

The Middle East has also shown robust gains, with 54,339 arrivals from January to December 2023, marking a 33.7% growth. Additionally, South Africa received 16,351 arrivals from Saudi Arabia, indicating a 42.6% increase.

The Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille, has expressed her delight at the impressive numbers. She highlighted the strategic decisions that contributed to the growth of specific markets.

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