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South Africa Travel & Tourism Industry Contributed 8.7% to National GDP in 2011, Says Timetric

05 Mar 2013 • by Natalie Aster

According to the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) 2011, South Africa was ranked the most popular world heritage natural site, while Cape Town was the top tourist destination in the world according to the Traveler’s Choice Destination awards 2011. South Africa’s travel and tourism industry contributed 8.7% to the national GDP in 2011 and represented 4.6% of the country’s total employment in the same year. Investment in travel and tourism accounted for 7.2% of the nation’s total investments in 2011.

Inbound tourism to register growth over the forecast period

South Africa was the second-leading destination in Africa in terms of inbound tourist arrivals in 2011, and ranked fifth globally with respect to tourism growth. The favorable trend in inbound arrivals is the result of hosting international sporting events and improvements in security conditions. In 2011 72.5% of tourists came from African countries and the remaining 27.5% came from non-African destinations. Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Mozambique were the top three source countries.

South Africa gains global exposure due to the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

The hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup attracted many international tourists, increasing revenues in the travel and tourism industry. The new report "The Future of Travel and Tourism in South Africa to 2016" by Timetric states that the event contributed over 309,500 tourist arrivals, enabling the country to increase its share of tourist arrivals from major countries such as the US, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Italy and China. The growth in the number of first-time tourists was also driven by the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with 55% of the total air tourists in 2010 being first-time visitors.

Report Details:

The Future of Travel and Tourism in South Africa to 2016
Published: October, 2012
Pages: 268
Price: US$ 1,950.00

The importance of other tourism

South Africa is referred to as the ‘rainbow nation’ due to its cultural diversity. The country also promotes sports and adventure tourism in order to increase its competitiveness, and the government is supporting the development of niche tourism sectors such as cultural tourism, eco-tourism, paleotourism and avitourism.

Tourist spending declines due to the global financial crisis

The global financial crisis significantly affected domestic tourism. The key challenge is economic constraints, which have resulted in job losses. Domestic tourists decreased their spending in 2011 by 3.8% over 2010, and despite an increase in inbound tourist arrivals in 2011, overall tourist expenditure decreased by 2.7% compared to 2010. The key drivers behind this decline are lower levels of economic recovery, lack of consumer confidence and the appreciation of the rand against the dollar.

Domestic air travel market to register strong growth over the forecast period

According to the International Air Transport Association, South Africa is expected to be one of the fastest-growing domestic air travel markets globally over the next three years. The number of seats sold is expected to increase at a CAGR of 3.17% over the forecast period with total airline revenue set to increase at a CAGR of 6.76% over the same period. Several domestic airlines such as South African Airways (SAA), Comair, 1Time and Mango are investing in new aircraft to capitalize on the growing passenger volumes.

Online travel bookings increase rapidly

Online travel bookings registered significant growth during the review period, despite the global financial crisis. Broadband penetration in households has grown significantly, which has supported the development of online booking systems. Consequently, this has lead to an influx of new online customers who previously booked through travel agents.

More information can be found in the report “The Future of Travel and Tourism in South Africa to 2016” by Timetric.

To order the report or ask for sample pages contact [email protected]


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