The Department of Tourism has welcomed the increase in domestic tourism in the country, as there has been a 70% increase in some local and international visits since 2022.
The department says the sector has created over 1 million jobs since 2021.
This as Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille launched the summer season campaign at the Pabala Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape.
De Lille says in most successful tourism destinations worldwide, the domestic market serves as the bedrock of the tourism industry in the country.
“So, domestic figures are very good. When it comes to international travel we still need to improve because we are still at about 19% below the figures of 2019. And we have seen some of our source markets like the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and the Netherlands we have seen a growth in their visits to South Africa in the first three months of this year. And we expect that also to grow. But we still have a long way to go to reach the pre-COVID records. But I am confident that we can do it especially since we have been voted as the best country to visit.”
Dubbed as the destination of choice, the Eastern Cape has seen a boost of 5.8 million domestic travellers in 2022.
MEC for Tourism in the province, Mlungisi Mvoko elaborates:
“We are doing very well as a province and considering what befell us in 2020 in quarter 1 we had 1.3 million visits and in quarter 2 we had 1.6 million visits and you can see the jump. So, its a clear indication that with the targets that the Minster was talking about we can reach that target.”