All the way up for SA tourism
Source: SA News, 15/12/2016
Pretoria ‚Ä" Tourism remains key to South Africa‚Äôs economic development
strategy and the substantial growth in tourist arrivals is testament
to how dedication to marketing ‚Äėdestination SA‚Äô is paying off.
Tourist arrival figures have gone up by 14.8% this year compared to
the same period in 2015, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa
said on Tuesday. She was chairing the International Cooperation, Trade
and Security Cluster briefing to give an update on the bloc‚Äôs
Programme of Action (PoA) towards achieving the goals of the National
Development Plan (NDP).
‚ÄúMarketing South Africa as a premier domestic and international
tourist destination has been central to our economic diplomacy
efforts,‚ÄĚ Minister Molewa said in Pretoria.
The improvement in tourism statistics has been attributed to the work
of the country‚Äôs more than 120 missions, which include South Africa‚Äôs
embassies, high commissions and consulate generals, who worked
together with Brand South Africa to improve the tourism arrival
Statistics from the Department of Tourism in September showed that 822
416 tourist arrivals were recorded for July 2016, up by 89 525 tourist
compared to the same month of the previous year.
There was an increase of 131 002 tourists in July 2016 compared to the
same month in 2015. This brings the total tourist arrivals for the
period January-July 2016 to 5 791 504, which is an increase of 751 388
compared to the same period of the previous year.
Minister Molewa said the growth in tourism was due in part to
innovative marketing strategies and the tourism incentives that were
given to small business. The operational environment for tourism has
‚ÄúWe have had an improvement of economic diplomacy, regional
integration, peacekeeping and building resilience in our country‚Äôs
economy,‚ÄĚ Minister Molewa said.
She said it was encouraging that during the first months of 2016,
about R39.3 billion in foreign direct spend in South Africa was
‚ÄúThe realisation of this kind of revenue sustains the local tourism
economy. It also indicates that our country remains a popular
destination for tourists inside South Africa, from the region and
globally,‚ÄĚ she said.
South Africa‚Äôs economic diplomacy remains central to attracting
investment, creating jobs, and growing and transforming the
The country continues to accelerate its economic
diplomacy efforts at a regional, continental and global level by
creating new trade opportunities, increasing investment in regional,
continental and global markets, and overall deepening economic ties
with both new and established trade partners.
Minister Molewa said South Africa has enhanced its visibility on
national and international trade, investment promotion and tourism
‚ÄúThis has yielded real and tangible results. For example, sales of
manufactured value-added exports have increased by R1.2 billion,
bringing the cumulative total for the year to R 3.8 billion.
‚ÄúOne of our priorities is to achieve a number of bilateral and
multilateral agreements through which we will promote, facilitate and
host meetings with potential investors; as well as engaging with
various Chambers of Commerce,‚ÄĚ Minister Molewa said. ‚Ä" SAnews.gov.za