13 May 2013
South Africa has been voted the top destination by members of the world's largest travel and lifestyle social network, Where Are You Now? (WAYN), in the site's recent "dream destination competition".
The country beat Brazil, India, Dubai, Fiji, Turkey and Indonesia with 15 300 votes from members around the world.
A total 78 000 votes were counted for all seven of the destinations. The nominated countries and cities were selected through market research and tracking user engagement on WAYN.
"All seven countries and cities nominated were extremely worthy contenders and dream destinations in their own right," WAYN co-founder and chief risk officer, Jeremy Touze, said in a statement last week.
"The immense popularity of South Africa as a tourist destination has been reinforced by this competition, and interestingly the activity we are seeing correlates with the recent announcement by President Jacob Zuma that the amount of foreign visitors to South Africa has grown by 300% to 13.5-million visitors, 9.2-million of which were tourists."
Touze said South Africa's strongest following comes from Asia, in particular India. "Out of the 408 000 fans of South Africa on WAYN, there are now over 108 000 fans from India alone," he said.
"We are privileged to live in an incredible country, a land of spectacular wildlife, awe-inspiring adventure and unique heritage and culture," said chief executive officer of South African Tourism, Thulani Nzima.
"It is home to warm, welcoming people, eager to share it with travellers from around the world.
"We are already touched by the hundreds of thousands of friends our destination has made on the WAYN.com platform and we are delighted with this accolade, which we hope will make more people's dreams of visiting South Africa a reality," Nzima said.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 10:37
A total of 9 188 368 international tourists visited South Africa in 2012, 10.2% more than the 8 339 354 tourists who travelled to the country in 2011, President Jacob Zuma announced in Cape Town on 25 April 2013.
South Africa’s tourist growth rate in 2012 was more than double the rate of average global tourist growth of about 4% estimated by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation in 2012.
South Africa saw particularly good overseas tourist growth (tourists from outside of the African continent), which grew by 15.1%, one of the highest growth rates in the world last year.
Europe remained the highest source of overseas tourists to South Africa, growing by 9.5% on 2011 figures and attracting a total of 1 396 978 tourists to the country last year – more than half the total number of overseas tourists.
The United Kingdom continues to be South Africa’s biggest overseas tourism market, with 438 023 UK tourists travelling to South Africa in 2012 (4.2% up on 2011 figures). The United States is South Africa’s second biggest overseas tourism market, with 326 643 tourists from the USA visiting in 2012 (up 13.6% on 2011 figures), with Germany the third biggest overseas market with 266 333 tourists (up 13% on 2011 figures). China has become South Africa’s fourth biggest overseas tourism market, 132 334 (up 55.9% on 2011 figures), with France now South Africa’s fifth biggest overseas tourism market with 122 244 tourists in 2012 (up 16% on 2011 figures).
Particularly strong growth was recorded in 2012 from Asia (up 33.7% on the figures recorded in 2011), driven by growth from China and India, and Central and South America (up 37.0%), thanks to continued good tourist growth out of Brazil.
Regarding Portugal, 48 210 tourists travelled to South Africa in 2012 (up 19.6% on 2011 figures).
“We are extremely happy with our tourist arrivals figures for 2012 and our continued tourism growth from all regions. This phenomenal tourism growth is evidence that we are successfully setting ourselves apart in a competitive marketplace and that South Africa’s reputation as a friendly, welcoming, inspiring and unique tourism destination continues to grow,” said President Zuma, when announcing the 2012 international tourism statistics at a media briefing at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront today.
President Zuma said that the 2012 tourist growth figures confirmed that the country’s tourism marketing efforts were on track, backed by a strong, professional tourism industry that offered a wide variety of tourist offerings to suit every experience and every budget.
“These figures give us confidence that we are making good progress in our efforts to grow the tourism industry in South Africa. But we cannot become complacent. More and more countries around the world are realising the opportunity that tourism presents for growing their economies and creating jobs and our geographic position makes our fight for the global tourism share more difficult than most. As a tourism industry we have to remain committed to working together to grow tourism to our country, with the support of all South Africans, all of whom have the power to be important tourism ambassadors,” said President Zuma.
While President Zuma emphasised the importance of continuing to maintain and grow the country’s market share in its core markets of Europe and North America, he was excited about the growth recorded from the emerging markets of regional Africa, Asia and South America.
“A few years ago we took the decision to begin actively marketing destination South Africa in emerging markets, which has yielded extremely positive results. Since 2009 arrivals from China have more than tripled, arrivals from Brazil have more than doubled and arrivals from India have almost doubled,” said President Zuma.
China jumped from being South Africa’s eighth largest overseas source market in 2011 to its fourth largest overseas source market in 2012. In 2012, 132 334 people visited South Africa from China, a 55.9% increase in growth, driven in part by the opening up of a direct flight between Beijing and Johannesburg in January 2012.
The impressive growth in arrivals from India continued in 2012, with 106 774 Indian visitors to South Africa, growth of 18.2%, making it South Africa’s eighth largest overseas source market.
Brazil continued to show impressive growth rates becoming a top ten overseas source market for arrivals for the first time (ninth). A total of 78 376 Brazilians came to South Africa in 2012, a 44.7% increase on 2011 numbers.
“The BRICS summit held in Durban last month highlighted the economic potential that our affiliation with this bloc has for South Africa and the tourism industry is no exception. Tourist arrivals from the BRICS countries accounted for 330 834 of our international tourist numbers in 2012 and the potential for further growth is huge. Greater collaboration at this level will no doubt go a long way in making South Africa a more accessible destination for visitors from these markets and ensuring that these countries continue to fuel our industry’s success going forward,” said President Zuma.
“Regional Africa remains the pillar of our tourism economy and we are happy to see that arrivals from the region have maintained the solid growth path we have become accustomed to. Africa’s importance to our tourism industry will continue to grow, as African economies are amongst the best performing economies in the world at the moment,” President Zuma added.
Foreign tourists spent a total of R76.4 billion in South Africa last year, up 7.6% on the total foreign direct spend in the country in 2011. Spend by tourists from the Americas, Asia & Australasia as well as Europe have all increased. The only decrease in spend was from tourists from our continental land markets, which lead to the average spend per tourist decreasing by 2,3%.
The average length of stay decreased from 8.5 nights per tourist in 2011 to 7.6 nights in 2012 driven off shorter stays by tourists from most of our markets. This is a global trend that affects all our competitors due to the economic downturn around the world.
President Zuma also referred to the latest Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) released by Statistics South Africa, for the period ending December 2011. The TSA provides a tourism dimension to the System of National Accounts and contains important information about the performance of the Tourism Sector in the economy. The TSA reported the following results:
- Direct tourism contribution to GDP went up by 5% to R84.3 billion in 2011.
- Direct employment in the sector as a percentage of overall employment in the country went up from 4.3% to 4.5% between 2010 and 2011. This was as a result of the increase of about 31,000 direct jobs in the sector from 2010 to a total direct employment of 598,432 in 2011.
- An increase of 3.3% in expenditure by foreign tourists to R71.7 billion.
- The total domestic tourism expenditure increased from R69 billion in 2010 to R101 billion in 2011, which translates to an increase of over R30 billion.
Last Updated on Monday, 06 May 2013 07:45
South Africa stands out as a tourist destination in the world, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on 16 April 2013.
"Last year we grew at more than double the world average - 10.5% for January to November 2012, compared to a global average growth of four percent," he said at an awards ceremony in New York.
"With growth rates of more than double the world average and quadruple the world average if one takes overseas visitors into account, we can look back very favourably on 2012."
He said tourism remained stable in South Africa in the midst of the 2008/2009 global financial crisis.
"South Africa is indeed a unique and varied destination which offers tourist experiences that suit every taste and budget," Van Schalkwyk said.
"Visitors to South Africa stand in awe of how much this country has to offer, which includes the variety of experiences, the value for money, our world-class tourism infrastructure, and of course our culturally-diverse people."
He said 2013 was a special year for South Africa, as it had entered its 20th year of democracy.
"Irrespective of what news agencies may tell you, South Africa still remains a story of hope, a story of inspiration, and a story of the future," Van Schalkwyk said.
"That's why more and more people want to come to our country and see it for themselves.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 08:42
Tourism numbers increased by 10.4% between January and October last year, the tourism ministry said on Wednesday.
A total of 7,535,498 tourists arrived in the country during the period, compared to 6,823,517 in 2011, the ministry said in a statement.
Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said he was happy with the continuing interest shown in South Africa.
"Positive growth from the traditional markets in general and Europe in particular gives us confidence that the work we are doing to grow tourist arrivals is paying dividends," Van Schalkwyk said.
"South Africa has every reason to feel confident about the state of its tourism industry going forward."
There was a 19.1% increase in Portuguese tourists to South Africa last year. A total of 38,339 Portuguese tourists arrived in the country during the period, compared to 32,191 in 2011.
Van Schalkwyk said tourism was a economic growth engine for the country and had been identified as one of the priority sectors to achieve economic growth and attract investment. Tourism attracts foreign direct spend and created jobs.
A number of targets had been set which included:
- attracting 15 million tourists by 2020;
- to increase the share of tourism in gross domestic product from R189.4 billion in 2009 to R499bn in 2020,
- and to create more than 225,000 new jobs in the sector.
Source: SA - the Good News via SAPA
Last Updated on Friday, 08 March 2013 09:22
The first route of a 5 000 km national long-distance fibre-optic network connecting major city centres across South Africa has successfully been “lit up”, telecommunications group MTN said (…).
This followed the completion, by the National Long Distance (NLD) consortium, of 700 km of trenching between Germiston and Durban in December, said MTN SA chief technology officer Kanagaratnam Lambotharan.
The consortium, comprising MTN, Vodacom, Neotel and the South African National Road Agency, aimed to link major centres and economic hubs, as well as interconnect with international submarine cable landing sites.
The transmission system supported 400 Gb/s of traffic and was scalable to meet future requirements.
“The NLD project will positively impact business development and entrepreneurship in the country in terms of access speeds, as well as delivering the ability to circumvent some of the challenges that exist around national and last-mile connectivity,” said Lambotharan.
By: Natasha Odendaal in Engineering News (07 Feb 2013)
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2013 09:17