Tourism important for South African economy

Published on : Thursday, August 3, 2017

south-african-tourists-this-festive-seasonAccording to a research commissioned by Airports Company South Africa, every regular, long-haul direct flight secured is estimated to support as many as 3,000 jobs. Without a doubt, combating the recession will require removing the obstacles to economic growth that the country faces. But it will also mean government playing smart by adapting to the circumstances.


From Table Mountain to the Garden Route, the natural beauty and modern infrastructure of SA competes with the best that the world has to offer. That is why South Africa ranks as one of the top countries to visit in the world, with Cape Town consistently making its way into the top 10 list of places to visit globally. Greece’s booming tourism industry is another example. While the country’s economy went down by more than 20% since the end of 2009, its tourism sector has provided much needed support. According to the Greek National Tourism Organisation, Greece is expecting a record-breaking 30-million tourists in 2017.

80% of all jobs being created in Greece are in its tourism sector, which will help grow the economy by nearly 7%, and boost employment by more than 6%, especially for the youth.
With the country’s unemployment rate still over 20%, rising to as much as 40% for young Greeks, the estimated 1-million jobs supported by its tourism sector is a valuable lifeline which continues to make a tangible difference. The recently released South African Tourism (SAT) report on tourism in 2016 has showed that although there is economic downturn, tourism is bucking the trend and is on the up.


In the Western Cape, for example, 1.5-million international tourists travelled to the province, a year-on-year increase of 18.5%. This contributed R18.1-billion to the regional economy, which is more than 20% increase.


Most of the world’s successful tourism economies have a strong domestic tourism market and an inherent tourism culture. It is important to remember that tourism is also a vital bridge to investment as it can help to counter negative international opinion of a country.


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