President Cyril Ramaphosa says that the latest statistics on tourist arrivals show that the industry is making a strong and sustained comeback.
The Tourism Minister, Patricia de Lille revealed figures that show nearly 5.7 million visitors graced South Africa’s shores last year. This is an increase of over 150% compared to the previous year.
According to the President, the first quarter of this year, saw over 2 million visitors, more than twice as many compared to the same period in 2022.
Ramaphosa says that although tourist arrivals are not yet at pre-pandemic levels, the latest figures indicate that a significant and rapid recovery is under way in the local tourism industry.
He adds that despite political and economic uncertainty across the globe, as well as challenges of electricity supply at home, visitors still see South Africa as an attractive destination.
Ramaphosa says that the latest tourism figures should strengthen government’s resolve to ensure that tourism becomes one of the biggest drivers of South Africa’s economic recovery.
Not only are we seeing more tourists coming to our shores, but they are also spending more during their visits – more than R25 billion in the first quarter of 2023. This is a valuable stream of foreign exchange, sustaining and creating jobs and enabling further investment in our… pic.twitter.com/n0E4hSoieN
— Cyril Ramaphosa (@CyrilRamaphosa) May 22, 2023