Country gets 10.2% rise in tourist numbers in 2012
Even South Africa’s president expressed his delight at the country’s continuing success in attracting tourists. South Africa welcomed 10.2% more tourists in 2012 than the previous year – more than double the world’s overall tourism growth of 4%. Around 9.2 million tourists visited the country last year.
President Jacob Zuma said, “We are extremely happy with our tourist arrivals figures for 2012 and our continued tourism growth from all regions. These figures give us confidence that we are making good progress in our efforts to grow the tourism industry in South Africa.”
The UK is the biggest overseas market for South Africa outside the African continent, followed by the US.
Bashni Muthaya, South Africa Tourism’s regional director for Europe, said it was important to work with the travel trade to show how the country can offer more than just wildlife, such as food, drink, culture and heritage tourism.
“We have been working quite extensively with the trade in the past […] and basically our approach is to intensify our operations in this regard so that we can broadly promote South Africa, […] to work closely with them so that we can train, educate and send more agents to South Africa. We understand that when you experience the destination it becomes easier to sell it.”
[pictured: South Africa; photo courtesy South African Tourism]