South African Tourism under head of Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk made a positive balance of tourism activity during the first quarter of 2012 with 2 267 807 foreign arrivals – an exceptional 10.5% growth increase over the same period a year ago. While growth in tourist arrivals came from all the regions of the world, overseas tourist arrivals grew by 17.8%.
Europe continuing as the main source of arrivals, showed an 11.9% % increase in the first three months of the year, delivering 394 716 tourists. Robust sales, marketing partnerships, South Africa’s accessibility, and its value for money for European travellers contributed to the growth from Europe. 133 729 tourists came from the United Kingdom, achieving a 9.5% growth. Germany, among the best-performing markets on the European continent, continued its robust growth with a 15.2% increase, contributing to 77 768 tourists.
The United States also showed excellent growth of 16.1% (70 095 tourists).
Emerging markets maintained a strong positive growth trend. Brazil grew by 71.7% (19 133 tourists), India posted 23.1% growth (21 138 tourists), while tourist arrivals from China increased by 67.7% (30 883 tourists).
The regional Asian market delivered 85 189 tourists against 59 549 tourists for last year’s first quarter, posting tourist arrivals growth of more than 43%.
The African market represents a significant share in tourist arrivals as travelers from regional African tourist markets achieved positive growth rates of 7.9%. Angola (up 48.5%, or 14 394 tourists), Nigeria (26.7% growth, or 17 066 tourists) and Tanzania (31.4% growth, or 8 247 tourists) stood out as exceptional continental-market
This exceptional growth in overall tourist arrivals can be easily explained by ongoing efforts from the Tourist Board. Numerous trade workshops across key markets, familiarization trips, and ongoing research into consumer needs have paid off.
South Africa is now perceived as an always more accessible destination providing excellent value for money.