South African Tourism aims to grow visitor numbers within 5 years

Published on : Tuesday, September 5, 2017

South African tourism logoThere were 1.2 billion international arrivals in 2016 – but less than 5% of those came to Africa, and 1% to South Africa.

The head of South African Tourism, Sisa Ntshona said, “Those figures can either scare you, or excite you. Scare you in that you think, that’s so bad, or excite you in that there are so many opportunities. To a large extent, we’re still undiscovered.”

Ntshona was one of the speakers on the opening day of the Tourism Hotel Investment and Networking Conference, THINC Africa, hosted by global hotel investment consultancy, HVS, in Cape Town.

Ntshona added, “The African saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. We could say it takes the tourism industry to raise the economy,” said Tim Smith, managing partner of HVS in South Africa. “The opportunity offered by South Africa to domestic and international tourists is extraordinary. We just need to work together as an industry, with government’s assistance, to realise the opportunity for all.”

Earlier, John Loos, FNB’s property economist, told delegates that South Africa had two things going for it: the weak rand and a slow-moving Reserve Bank. To quote Loos, “I’ve given up trying to predict what the rand will do next, but realistically, we can expect a weak rand for some time to come. I wish more people would take advantage of it. It’s going to be there for a while, so we might as well use it.”

Ntshona said, “The more tourism grows, the more people will become economically active.”

SA Tourism has developed a “five in five” strategy. It wants to grow tourism numbers by five million in five years; four million would be international travellers, and one million domestic.


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