The official 2011 tourism statistics were released in Parliament this week by Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, who said that despite tough global economic conditions South Africa’s tourist arrivals had surpassed the 8 073 552 mark it reached when recording 15.1% growth in 2010, on the back of the country’s successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“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 capitalised on our enhanced international awareness and positivity and refined our marketing efforts with our media and trade partners,” Minister said.
The outlook for the South African tourism industry looks increasingly positive with excellent festive season figures.
“We are confident that this growth in tourist arrivals is set to continue. In total we saw 9.3% more people visit South Africa in December 2011 than in December 2010, with a 9.6% increase in overseas arrivals and growth recorded in all of our key markets,” said Minister Van Schalkwyk.
With this in mind we will gather in Durban for INDABA 2012 from May 12-15 under the theme of “Shaping our Future Together” building strong partnerships for continued, sustainable tourism growth, the creation of jobs and a greater contribution to the country’s economy from our
industry going forward,” said Minister van Schalkwyk.