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Published on : Monday, May 30, 2016
Suggesting that the tourism sector in South Africa is in for a bumper year, the tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year saw a strong rebound, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said on Wednesday.
In his latest update on tourist arrivals Hanekom said the persistent surge in arrivals boded well for the potential of tourism to stimulate a range of economic activity and create jobs across the industry’s diverse value chain.
Arrivals for the first three months of 2016 grew by 18.7 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2015. In March alone, the number of tourists who visited South Africa improved by 23.4 percent, compared to the same period last year, the minister cited figures provided by Statistics South Africa this week.
The United Kingdom continued to be the main source of overseas arrivals in the first quarter of 2016. UK arrivals increased from 129, 220 in 2015 to 147, 639 in 2016, a growth of about 14.3 percent.
Arrivals from China in the first quarter of this year grew by 65.2 percent compared to last year, and arrivals from India grew by 16.9 percent during the same period.
The strong performance during peak season points to the great potential of attracting more visitors in different seasons throughout the year, the minister said.