Tourists are flocking back to South Africa, based on year-to-date figures so far, reports The Citizen. According to the latest StatsSA numbers for August 2023, there have been healthy inbound travel figures already this year. And that bodes well for a thriving tourism season over the coming months.
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Looking at the figures in more detail, from January to July 2023, 4.8 million international tourists visited South Africa. This represents a 70.6% increase compared with the same period last year. This signals that tourists are flocking back to South Africa in a big way since the COVID-19 pandemic.
TOURISTS ARE FLOCKING BACK TO SOUTH AFRICA
The highest number of international tourists were from the United Kingdom, Germany, the US and the Netherlands. Encouragingly, however, experts within tourism and hospitality are reporting an increase in holidaymakers from the Middle East and India.
This is no accident, as South African Tourism and Emirates airlines agreed to a memorandum to market tourism to South Africa within the Emirates network. Middle Eastern tourists are spending roughly 15 to 20 days in South Africa, which is above average.
Another source of tourists flocking to South Africa is through a new sixth-largest foreign market, India. Stats SA reports a 200% surge in travellers from the subcontinent over the last year. Once again, this can be credited to an SA Tourism initiative called ‘Learn South Africa’ that started in New Delhi last year.
International flights to South Africa have increased since the COVID pandemic. With notable additions as follows:
- South African Airways to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- Virgin Atlantic to London, United Kingdom.
- Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, China.
- Edelweiss (Swiss) to Zurich.
- Saudia Airlines to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
- Lufthansa to Munich coming soon
- United Airlines to Chicago also coming soon.
- Ethiopian Airlines to increase to 35 flights a week,
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