Category Archives: Tourism and Travel

South Africa bold plans for tourism

The Tourism Department hopes to boost South Africa’s domestic tourism statistics from the most recent estimated seven million to upwards of 17 million by 2020.

This approach has come about as government’s recent economic growth path labeled tourism as being among the list of primary markets that can assist the state realize its economic goals and objectives for the country.

The department recently showcased its overhauled 2011 leg of the widely recognized Sho’t Left advertising and marketing campaign, through which it intends to commit in excess of R30 million in a combination of road trips and advertising campaigns geared towards rallying local communities behind the brand South Africa.

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, who had been giving a presentation during one of the road trips in Limpopo, proclaimed that domestic tourism continued to be the backbone of his department’s intentions to contribute in excess of R500 billion to the GDP 2020.

Domestic tourism is considered the most significant contributor to South Africa’s tourism volume and is also responsible for 79 percent of all tourists in the country.

The Sho’t Left advertising and marketing campaign is an element of government’s total tourism strategy and the concept will be to showcase the culture of tourism among South Africans, along with the emphasis focused towards the small and the least frequented regions.

“For all of us, investing in domestic tourism continues to be our fundamental goal. Domestic tourism is without a doubt our backbone and the government has finally begun to understand and appreciate the function and importance of this sector plus it currently forms part of the new growth path,” van Schalkwyk said.

He in addition reported a positive increase in domestic figures for 2010, with noticeable rises when it comes to duration of trips undertaken along with the money spent on holidays when compared to the previous year.

“For the very first time in a great many years, we have observed growth within critical areas which include frequency, overall spend along with the length of stay,” stated the minister.

Well over 13.5 million individuals undertook a domestic trip during the last year, with an average of 2.2 trips per traveler. This has been a small improvement when compared to the 2.1 annual trips per traveler undertaken in 2009.

Despite the fact that the department registered less domestic travels in 2010, the boosts in spending along with the frequency of traveling indicated that South Africans were definitely beginning to “grasp” the culture of travel.

Authorities suggested despite the fact that total annual spend on domestic tourism was in fact down from R22.4 billion recorded in 2009 to R21.1 billion, they were enthusiastic as a result of the surge in spending to 31 percent last year when compared to 22 percent in 2009.

This has been to some extent linked to the excitement as a result of the Soccer World Cup, as individuals were very likely to have been motivated to fork out a whole lot more on a number of luxuries and entertainment.

The excellent news for the holiday accommodation industry is the fact that total annual nights spending on establishments for domestic travel escalated to well over 130 million in 2010 compared with 124 million the previous year.

Having said that the minister maintained that despite the fact that the trend in domestic tourism figures had continued to be in the upward direction over the year, the difficult task would be to turn this into a “tangible” opportunity for job creation and economic growth.

In accordance with the government’s new growth path and emphasis on job creation, South Africa Tourism intends to improve upon the current R199 billion contributed by the sector towards the GDP to approximately R500 billion by 2020.

“All of us need to make certain that it leads to job creation at the same time encouraging us to accomplish economic growth simultaneously,” he added.

SA Tourism CEO Thandiwe January-Mclean at the same time pointed out that investing in domestic tourism will certainly form part of the organisation’s future growth plan, adding the fact that the strategy was to showcase all nine provinces, even those located a long way away from the coastline as well as other popular tourist sites.

“We will need to make it possible for South Africans to travel their country and become tourists within their own country, and for us to accomplish this we will need to inform them that something beautiful exists in all provinces,” she said.


Source: BuaNews,,,


South Africa Tourism continues to eclipse global trends

South Africa registered an extraordinary 15% boost in tourist arrivals to the country last year – outperforming the worldwide average by 8%. And even though the Fifa World Cup in June and July contributed towards the outstanding increase, visitor arrivals had been buoyant throughout the year.

During the past year South Africa welcomed more than eight million (8 073 552) visitors to the country when compared with 2009 visitors of approximately seven million (7 011 865), comparing incredibly well when it comes to international standards.

Statistics coming from the UN World Tourism Organisation revealed that global tourism arrivals were determined to have expanded by 6.7% in 2010. This resulted in South Africa outperforming the international market by 8%.

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, announcing the statistics in Cape Town, proclaimed he had “absolutely no doubt of even more growth this year”.

“All of us are unquestionably ecstatic with these robust growth figures, even more so for the reason that it follows immediately after a global economic recession,” he was quoted saying.

World Cup tourists and new markets

The Department of Tourism suggested 90% of the visitors who arrived for the FIFA World Cup had revealed the fact that they would like to come to South Africa for a second time, mainly because the tournament had created a significantly better representation of the country.

“From the outcomes of our customer survey in relation to arrivals during the World Cup, we fully understand that more than 309 000 visitors arrived in South Africa for the principal purpose of the FIFA World Cup,” Van Schalkwyk mentioned. “The FIFA World Cup arrivals as a result represents approximately four percent of the total arrivals for last year.”

He acknowledged the legacy of the FIFA World Cup was obviously a significant boost for the travel and leisure sector and additionally had cemented a basis for sustained investment and growth in the industry.

“In relation to reaping the added benefits of the FIFA World Cup, now is certainly not the time to sit back,” Van Schalkwyk said. “I wish to ask the whole sector to carry on to build and develop using this positive approval of our country and in addition aggressively entrench our primary tourism market segments and appeal to exciting emerging markets.”

New markets such as Brazil, China and India performed a major part with regard to expanding the industry in 2010, he explained.

“When it comes to terms of growth from the regional markets, the Americas expanded the quickest at 37.4% as compared to 2009,” he mentioned. This was followed by Asia and Australasia at 34.6%, along with long-haul market segments displaying an expansion of 21%.

Strong foundation to build on

The UK, US, Germany, the Netherlands and France continued to be South Africa’s top five international source markets. When it comes to emerging markets, significant expansion originated from Brazil with an increase of 66.7%, China revealed a growth rate of 62.3%, India with 29.7% and Nigeria with 10%, even though as a result of comparatively low bases.

“These statistics give a strong foundation on which we are able to build in term of our growth targets for emerging markets,” Van Schalkwyk said. “From a tourism point of view, all of us are in position to gain enormously as a result of our recent inclusion in the BRIC partnership, and we are aligning our planning and strategies accordingly.”


Source: SAinfo, BuaNews,,,,,


South Africa becomes business tourism hub

South Africa’s tourism sector will undoubtedly be enhanced substantially as a result of 200 international events confirmed to be held in the country over the upcoming five years.

The events comprise of meetings as well as conferences that will be likely to entice approximately 300 000 international delegates.

“The prospective economic benefit of the aforementioned verified meetings and conferences is a whole lot more than R1.6-billion (US$222-million),” said the country’s Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

Van Schalkwyk was giving a presentation at the launching of the Meetings Africa conference in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 21 February 2011. The three-day conference provides a platform to promote and encourage the development of Africa’s tourism destinations and attractions all under one roof and is also being attended by a number of international tourists.

Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk

The planned events will most likely play a role in the expansion of South Africa’s business tourism, which has gone through the roof in recent times. In excess of 500 000 international business delegates traveled to South Africa in 2009, as per the tourism department.

Business tourism accounted for 4.7% of overall visitor arrivals in 2009, a sign that recreational travel and leisure continues to lead the industry sector. Business tourists fork out approximately R5 300 ($740) during the course of their more often than not brief vacation in the country, which represents a monetary valuation of approximately R4-billion ($556-million), the department reported.

“The typical duration of stay of business tourists at the same time improved from 4.6 nights in 2008 to 4.8 nights in 2009,” Van Schalkwyk said.

Major cities score big

The country’s popular cities which include Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are going to host the vast majority of forthcoming meetings and conferences.

Durban in KwaZulu-Natal is going to stage the very important UN Climate Change Conference later this year, probably one of the leading international events in South Africa following the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The conference is going to attract presidents and prime ministers of numerous states, amongst the many other delegates.

Environmental activists from a number of countries around the world will likewise travel to South Africa in order to attend the event.

However the climate change conference is certainly not the only major drawcard for Durban – the city will in addition host the International Transport and Environmental Conference, Commonwealth Pharmacists Association Conference and the Disabled Peoples’ International 8th World Assembly.

Johannesburg is going to also receive a significant boost as a result of the confirmed bookings. As mentioned by Lindiwe Kwele, CEO of the Johannesburg Tourism Company, the city is going to host 16 upcoming conferences. “We constantly make an effort to bring in events of international significance,” Kwele mentioned during an interview.

Lindiwe Kwele, CEO of the Johannesburg Tourism Company

Johannesburg’s upmarket Sandton is going to accommodate a number of the world and Africa’s most progressive workshops. By the end February, a minimum of five international conferences, which includes Meetings Africa, would have already been staged within the suburb this year.

The upcoming big event happening in Sandton will be the three-day Africa Roads convention in March, which is where public infrastructure role-players are going to get together to talk about techniques for ensuring safe and efficient road networks around the continent.

Hotels will definitely reap some benefits at the same time, for the reason that almost each one of these events tend to be hosted in boutique establishments. The Hilton Sandton hotel turned out to be the venue for the Carbon Markets Africa conference held in January.

Constant levels of competition within the hospitality industry seems to have triggered dazzling and vibrant marketing. “We’re just about all genuinely optimistic to receive as many visitors as is possible and receiving numerous internationals into South Africa is obviously superb,” said Kathy Davies from the Legacy hotel group.

The 5th Africa Economic Forum in March is amongst the main events that Cape Town has scooped. Similar to Johannesburg and Durban, its line-up for 2011 is without a doubt bulging.

Even though considerably small compared to the other centres, Kimberley is going to host the 7th International Wildlife Ranching Symposium in October, while Grahamstown’s Rhodes University will be the setting for the Pan African Youth Summit scheduled for September.

Growth of South African tourism

South Africa hosted 90 out of 8 300 international events in 2009 – a year in which 55% of the venues ended up being allotted to European countries.

The 200 upcoming events have been verified over the past couple of years, and in addition the tourism department expects to entice a great deal more between now and 2016.

Cape Town scooped 49 of the scheduled events in 2009, along with the International Congress and Convention Association ranking it a number-one African business host. Johannesburg was ranked fifth and Durban 10th.

Precisely the same association labeled the Mother City as the 135th leading business meeting location in the world. Johannesburg and Durban came 128th and 231th respectively.

South Africa was ranked 34th in the international rankings and number one in Africa. “These statistics clearly show that South Africa along with our leading business tourism cities compare exceptionally well with regards to the rest of the continent,” said Van Schalkwyk.

Tourism contributed approximately 7.7% to South Africa’s GDP in 2010, during which about 7.3-million tourists visited the country. “Looking at the foreseeable future, there is certainly very good news [for the travel and leisure sector],” said Van Schalkwyk.



Cape Town voted the 2nd best beach city globally

In the event that you’re contemplating your upcoming holiday getaway and yet aren’t absolutely certain whether or not to take a city break or perhaps a beach holiday, then we could possibly provide the response to that question. Each of these sunny cities are located conveniently along the coastline, which suggests you can actually be sure to take your city holiday along with some sunbathing on the side.

A recently published Lonely Planet survey ended up seeing one of the several world’s foremost travel and leisure resources publicize their particular selection of the world’s ten best beach cities, and furthermore Cape Town ended up being selected as second amidst the likes of Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and Miami. Lonely Planet, a trusted and dependable all-round travel and leisure source of information accompanied by a historical past spanning in excess of thirty years, presented their own personal preference a short while ago, outlining Cape Town as “good-looking, fun-loving, sporty and sociable”.

Their top ten beach cities are:
* Barcelona, Spain
* Cape Town, South Africa
* Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
* Tangier, Morocco
* Sydney, Australia
* Valencia, Spain
* Tel Aviv, Israel
* Dubai, United Arab Emirates
* Miami, United States of America
* Brighton and Hove, England

Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, mentioned that this valuable endorsement and recommendation was really a celebration of Cape Town’s all-aroundness: “Whilst Cape Town can be described as a fascinating, culturally rich city, it’s additionally a purely natural paradise. We have been in the company of the fortunate handful of vacation spots across the world to have the capacity to lay claim to a blend of the premier beaches, renowned natural beauty and charm with a rich urban culture as an element of our unique identity.”

Cape Town’s expanding collection of accolades includes:

* Top city in Africa and the Middle East and one of the world’s top twenty cities in the 2010 Condé Naste Readers’ Travel Awards
* Africa’s leading destination in the 2010 World Travel Awards
* Second in the top ten culture and sightseeing destinations in Africa and fourth in the top ten outdoor and adventure destinations in Africa in the 2010 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards
* One of the top ten ethical destinations in the world in 2010 by Ethical Traveller



SA a big hit with overseas visitors

South Africa has proved to be more popular with World Cup visitors than previously thought.

Figures from accounting firm, Grant Thornton, show that visitors during the 2010 FIFA tournament were close to 400 000 – a good 27 000 more than the initial estimate made in April.

Overseas visitors are thought to be around the 270 000 mark, with a possible 130 000 African visitors having thronged to South Africa for the event.

Local industries benefit

This is good news for South Africa’s tourism sector, which enjoyed a sizeable chunk of the R38 billion injected into the economy. Foreign visitors spent roughly R30 000 per person.

“What it confirms is that the tourism industry benefitted from significant numbers of additional arrivals,” said Michael Tatalias, CEO of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association.

Results from South African Tourism’s departure surveys for the June/July tournament were still outstanding. Grant Thornton stats were adjusted to accommodate this.

“The figure has been adjusted to take into consideration the displacement factor of regular tourists who opted not to visit SA during the event, as well as those tourists who were in the country but did not come for the football,” the firm said.

The aviation sector was not left out of the action either, as a staggering number of Africans arrived for the World Cup by plane.

A slight damper was that potential visitors opted not to come to South Africa after their teams were knocked out of the tournament.

However, droves of fans flocked to South Africa as their home teams came close to reaching the final stages. These most notably came from countries like Germany, Netherlands and Spain.

Source: BuaNews,