Domestic Holidays in South Africa Soar, International Tourism Still Strong

South Africans are exploring their own gorgeous country like never before! According to South African Tourism (SA Tourism), domestic holiday trips rose by 59.7 % in the first quarter of this year (January to April 2019).

blyde river
Blyde River Canyon Mpumalanga. Stock photo

Thanks to an SA Tourism marketing campaign enticing South Africans to travel their country, the period this year showed “exceptional growth” compared to the same period last year… with fewer South Africans saying they had “no reason to travel”.

Overall, total domestic trips grew by 11% during January to April 2019, a healthy indication of the growing strength of the domestic tourism industry, said acting CEO Sthembiso Dlamini.

International Tourism

On the international front, the figures are less exciting with a 1.3% decline overall` during that four-month period… although North America and Asia DID show positive growth.

On top of that, there HAS been a strong showing during April 2019, where growth was recorded from major international source markets like the UK and Germany.

“We have analysed the current international travel environment and are putting measures in place to support the growth of the local tourism industry,” said Dlamini.

“We are working closely with the private sector to show confidence to the world that South Africa is indeed a memorable destination worth travelling to and visiting.”

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The following seven international markets have been identified as key focus areas for the year ahead:

  • United States of America
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • India
  • China
  • Australia
  • Nigeria

The SA tourism industry showed slight growth at the end of 2018, and is working towards attracting a further 4 million international tourist arrivals and a further one million domestic holiday trips by 2021.

“In addition to this, we have heeded the call by President Ramaphosa to further boost international arrivals by doubling the amount of arrivals to 21 million by 2030,” Dlamini said.

The outlook for rest of the year looks positive.

“South Africa remains a destination with lots to offer across all nine provinces and we are determined to show to the world the beauty that comes with South Africa along with its value for money offerings,” said Dlamini.