Tourist arrivals to South Africa show a record increase of 15.1% in 2010



1 MARCH 2011




Tourist arrivals to South Africa show a record increase of 15.1% in 2010

South Africa recorded an exceptional 15.1% increase in tourist arrivals to the country last year, the Minister of Tourism, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, announced today at a media briefing at Parliament.

\\\"In 2010 we saw more than 8 million tourist arrivals (8 073 552) to the country compared to just over 7 million (7 011 865) in 2009. This compares very well in international terms. Figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) show that global tourism arrivals is estimated to have grown by 6.7% in 2010, which means that South Africa outperformed the global market by more than 8%.

\\\"The 15.1% growth in tourist arrivals to South Africa outperformed that of every other region in the world, including arrivals growth of 13.9% for the Middle East, 12.6% for Asia and the Pacific, 7.7% for the Americas, 6.4% for Africa and 3.2% for Europe. We are delighted with these strong growth figures, particularly as it comes so soon after a global economic recession,\\\\\\\" Minister van Schalkwyk said.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"It is important to acknowledge that the particularly good growth in South Africa\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s arrivals figures was undoubtedly given a significant boost by the World Cup. South Africa in fact recorded a peak in tourist arrivals in June and July 2010, which is traditionally our low season. From the results of our survey on arrivals during the World Cup, we know that more than 309 000 tourists arrived in South Africa for the primary purpose of the World Cup. The World Cup arrivals therefore represent about 4% of the total arrivals for 2010.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"The World Cup was not only a particular highlight for our country, but also a victory for the entire tourism industry. The tourism sector did an excellent job of hosting hundreds of thousands of guests and contributed to ensuring unprecedented global exposure for our beautiful destination and its hospitable people,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" Minister van Schalkwyk said.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"The legacy of the World Cup is a major boost for the tourism industry and has cemented a foundation for sustained investment and growth in our industry. Considerable work has already begun across the sector as we now look to maintain the momentum and interest in our valued, world-class destination.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"In terms of reaping the rewards of the World Cup, now is not the time to sit back. I would like to call on the entire industry to continue to build on this positive affirmation of our country and to aggressively entrench our core tourism markets and attract exciting emerging markets,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" the Minister said.

The Minister noted that growth was not driven only by the World Cup, as the figures show that tourist arrivals performance in 2010 exceeded that of 2009 across all 12 months of the year. In terms of tourist arrivals to South Africa, we recorded increases from all our markets, with the regional growth rates as follows:

Ø   Europe 8.1%

Ø   North America 22.5%

Ø   Central and South America 109.2%

Ø   Australasia 26.3%

Ø   Asia 39.1%

Ø   Middle East 19.3%

Ø   Africa 12.8%

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"In terms of growth from the respective regions, tourist arrivals from the Americas grew the fastest at 37.4% compared to 2009, followed by Asia and Australasia with 34.6%. Long haul markets grew the fastest in 2010, showing an increase of 21%, and the strong growth of 14% from air markets within our continent is also particularly encouraging,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" Minister van Schalkwyk said.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"The UK, USA, Germany, the Netherlands and France remain the top 5 overseas source markets. Notable countries where considerable tourism growth to South Africa was recorded in 2010 include India with growth of 29.7%, China with an increase of 62.3%, Brazil with growth of 66.7% and Nigeria with an increase of nearly 10%, albeit from relatively low bases.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"These figures provide a solid base on which we can build in terms of our growth targets for emerging markets. From a tourism perspective we stand to gain tremendously from our recent inclusion in the BRIC partnership and we are aligning our planning and strategies accordingly,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" Minister van Schalkwyk said.

South African Tourism launched its global \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"20 Experiences in 10 Days\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" campaign in September last year specifically to sustain the momentum post the World Cup and to continue to promote the country in its identified markets.

The first phase of the campaign followed the authentic, unscripted travels of four couples from India, Nigeria, the United States and the United Kingdom, matched specifically to target key tourism markets to South Africa, on a memorable, documented tour of South Africa.

The successful campaign was well received by consumers and trade partners globally, with the second phase - featuring couples from China, Brazil, Germany and Angola - currently in production.

With positive growth and the opportunity to tap into a number of potential new markets, South Africa is well-poised to continue delivering its unique combination of experiences to an increasing number of international travellers going forward.



For more information visit www and


Media Enquiries:


South African Tourism

Thandiwe Mathibela

Tel:     +27 11 895 3177

+27 82 552 0979


Ministry of Tourism                                              Ministry of Tourism          

Ronel Bester                                                                        Natasha Rockman

Tel:     +27 21 465 7240                                          Tel:      +27 21 465 7240

           +27 83 242 7763                                                      +27 76 429 2264                               







MTPA on Instagram

Follow Us