Despite recession, tourism in South Africa remains stable

Published on : Friday, July 28, 2017

indexCape Town remains South Africa’s top tourist hub and it expects a 13 percent jump in tourist arrivals this year to 1.77 million. It would definitely be a rare bright spot in an economy that went into recession in March. Cape Town boasts of the country’s four most popular attractions, including Robben Island – apartheid’s most notorious jail where former president Nelson Mandela spent 18 years. South Africa’ economy is in dire need of some positive news.


South Africa’s economy fell into recession in the first quarter of the year. Unemployment is at a 14-year high of 27.7 percent. But tourists have been pouring in, possibly encouraged by the weak rand. It has fallen more than 20 percent against the dollar since a high last year. Britain, Germany and the United States were the three leading sources of tourist arrivals to the Western Cape Province.


Arrivals to Cape Town reached 1.56 million in 2016 from 1.38 million in 2014, with foreign spending rising by 3.6 billion rand to 18 billion rand ($1.4 billion) over the same period. As per South African Tourism, some 10 million foreigners overall arrived last year.


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