The first four months of 2010 were superb for South African tourism. The situation was then further improved by the greatest football spectacle in June and July and the future looks very rosy as the locals are learning to become better hosts.
South Africa is enjoying a boom in tourism. Never has the country been so popular, not only amongst foreign visitors, but also amongst South Africans themselves. Major sports events, such as this year’s World Cup and various rugby spectacles have put South Africa firmly on the global tourism map. The decline in political and racial turbulence has helped to improve the country’s reputation and the success of the football World Cup has lessened tourist fear of visiting South Africa. The figures reflect this progress.
The leader of the South African ministry of tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwijk, has stated that the first four months of 2010 were a huge success for his country. Foreign arrivals rose by more than 350,000 compared to the same period last year. Between January and April, there were 2.5 million arrivals from other parts of the world and this was before a ball was kicked. To sum up the progress in percentage: incoming tourism to South Africa rose by 16.3%.
One of the main reasons for the success is that the South Africans themselves have learnt how to become better hosts. They have traveled around their own country more, learnt more about it, and are now using their newfound knowledge to accommodate foreigners. Over the past 6 years, the ministry of tourism has been plowing huge amounts of money into projects aimed at encouraging South Africans to travel and welcome fellow travelers. The invested cash is now being returned by foreign tourists.