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South Africa Reports 3.3 Percent Increase in Arrivals in 2011
April 13, 2012

South Africa’s tourism arrivals grew 3.3 percent in 2011 from its record-breaking year of 2010, the year it hosted the FIFA World Cup. The latest figures released in the country’s Parliament show that the country attracted 8,339,354 international tourists in 2011, surpassing the 8,073,552 mark of 2010. The 2010 figures showed a jump of 15.1 percent.

According to South Africa’s minister of tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, “The 2010 FIFA World Cup was a once-in-a-lifetime global showcase for our country which gave us unprecedented international media exposure worth billions of dollars and left us with enhanced, modern, world-class tourist infrastructure.

However, while it was a wonderful opportunity that certainly gave us a big boost, the tourism industry never became complacent after its success. Instead, we used it as a catalyst to work even harder to sustain that tourism growth, to defend our core tourist markets and to tap into the potential of new tourism markets. We capitalized on our enhanced international awareness and positivity and refined our marketing efforts with our media and trade partners.”

Excluding the 310,000 people who traveled to South Africa in 2010 specifically for the FIFA World Cup, the actual growth in 2011 was 7.4 percent, which is well above the rate of global growth rate of 4.4 percent.

South Africa’s core markets in Europe and North America remain the country’s major source of long-haul tourists, but the country’s overall growth in 2011 was largely due to a 14.6 percent growth in the emerging markets of Asia (driven by growth of 24.3 percent from China and 26.2 percent by India in 2011).

Tourist numbers were also up thanks to a 6.9 percent increase in tourist arrivals from regional Africa continent (with growth of 37.5 percent from Nigeria).

European tourist arrivals declined by 3.5 percent, attributable largely to the impact of the global economic crisis. North American numbers grew by 2.3 percent, despite major economic challenges. Excluding World Cup numbers, growth would have been 2.4 percent for Europe, 13.7 percent for North America, 26.3 percent for Asia and 9.1 percent for Africa in 2011. Germany was the strongest market in Europe.

“The World Cup cushioned us from the difficulties facing the European market in 2010,” said Van Schalkwyk. “Given that Europe’s woes are not over yet, a drop in tourists from this market in 2011 was expected as the continent’s price conscious consumers chose instead to travel for shorter periods of time closer to home and adapt their spending patterns.”

The U.S. market showed a 22.6 percent increase in 2010 with more than 30,000 traveling to South Africa specifically to attend the World Cup.

The market showed additional growth of 1.9 percent in 2011. “That we were able to maintain the massive increase in arrivals of 2010 and still grow even more in 2011 in an uncertain economy is evidence that the successful hosting of the tournament had an excellent impact on arrivals out of this very important market.

It is also testament to the hard work by our team in the United States, in tandem with our trade and media partners,” said Van Schalkwyk.

Source :- http://www.travelpulse.com/
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