Tourism is 1 of South Africa’s Biggest Success Stories (These Photos Prove Why)

Tourism Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa says tourism is one of South Africa’s biggest success stories since the dawn of democracy, and that it continues to grow and provide a livelihood for many households. International tourism to South Africa has increased since last year (and looking at these photos, and the state of the Rand, it’s not surprising that foreigners are attracted to SA)… although South Africans living in SA aren’t visiting other parts of the country as much as they used to.

Umhlanga, KZN
Bushman’s Kloof

Xasa said the tourism sector currently supports about 1.5 million jobs – directly and indirectly – in South Africa.

Addressing the Local Government Tourism Conference workshop in Pretoria on Wednesday, the Deputy Minister said there is, however, room for growth, especially at the level of municipalities.

“As a key driver of the country’s economy, tourism has the potential to turn around the wellbeing of ordinary South Africans by stimulating equitable participation into mainstream tourism initiatives.”

Xasa hopes the 2017 Local Government Tourism Conference – on 3 April in Ekurhuleni – will be a great success and “help to stimulate domestic tourism“.

South African Domestic Tourism Stats

According to figures released this week by Stats SA, the Domestic Tourism Survey 2015 found that the number of trips taken by South Africans travelling domestically is on the decline.

The total number of day trips decreased from 54,4 million in 2013 to 48 million in 2014 and decreased further to 44,3 million in 2015. Overnight trips also declined from 50,8 million in 2013 to 47,3 million in 2014 and 45,4 million in 2015.

Total expenditure on domestic overnight trips and day trips was up in 2014, but dropped between 2013 and 2015. Overnight trip expenditure dropped from R68,5 billion in 2013 to R61,9 billion in 2015. Expenditure on day trips decreased from R35 billion in 2013 to R24,9 billion in 2015.

Most money spent during day trips was spent in Gauteng, whereas overnight expenditure occurred in KwaZulu-Natal.

Gauteng and Limpopo were the most popular destinations for day travellers. Tourists (overnight travelers) were most likely to visit Limpopo, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

South Africa has once again proved to be a firm favourite among international tourists, as the sector in January recorded an increase in the number of visitors compared with the same month a year ago.

South African Overseas Tourism Stats

Figures released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Monday show that overseas tourist numbers rose from 14% to 245 074 in January 2017, compared with January 2016.

Visitors from France (34.1%), Sweden (28.6%) and China (28.3%) contributed to the rise.

In March 2016, there were 1 435 879 foreign arrivals to South Africa. In January 2015, visitor numbers fell 6.8%, with many citing the introduction of the new visa regulations as the reason for the dip. Home Affairs introduced the regulations in an effort to curb child trafficking.

Source:, All photos from SA Tourism FB page