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.”
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.
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.
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.
President Jacob Zuma revealed a range of campaigns to further improve job creation, along with the creation of a R9-billion job opportunities fund, when he declared that 2011 will be South Africa’s “year of job creation” as part of his State of the Nation address in Parliament.
“Our goal is crystal clear,” Zuma said in Cape Town last Thursday. “All of us are looking for a nation whereby millions more South Africans have decent employment opportunities, which includes a modern national infrastructure in addition to a vibrant economy, and additionally in which the quality of life is high.
“All of us have a responsibility and obligation to work hard in order to make this a reality.”
The campaigns Zuma mentioned made it easy to flesh out the government’s New Growth Path, made available the later part of last year, which is designed to create five million employment opportunities by 2020 in addition to bring South Africa’s unemployment rate right down to 15%.
The nation’s unemployment rate decreased marginally during the final quarter of 2010, from 25.3% in last year’s third quarter to 24%.
Six priority areas
In accordance with the New Growth Path, Zuma proclaimed six priority areas are going to be targeted in an attempt to generate significantly more jobs, including: infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the “green” economy, and tourism.
He was quoted saying that the private sector would definitely be essential in the country’s endeavours to provide considerably more jobs and also that business, labour and communities would need to interact with each other to conquer unemployment.
The R9-billion jobs fund would finance new job-creation projects over a three-year period and additionally is going to be complemented as a result of an amount of R10-billion to be earmarked through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) over the upcoming five years intended for investment in projects that have high job-creation potential.
R20bn in regulations and tax breaks for manufacturing
Zuma at the same time declared R20-billion in tax allowances along with tax breaks to encourage investment opportunities, expansions and improvements in South Africa’s manufacturing sector.
The Department of Trade and Industry showcased the particular initiative late last year.
For a project to be able to be eligible, the minimum investment is required to be R200-million for brand new projects, and R30-million intended for expansion and upgrades, he explained. The programme will offer an allowance up to R900-million in tax-deductible allowances for first time investors and R550-million for upgrades and expansions.
Small business support
To further improve help and support to small businesses, the government is likely to have a look at combining three of their monetary funds that focused on small businesses – Khula, the SA Micro-Finance Apex Fund (Samaf), and the IDC’s small business funding activities – into a single unit.
This certainly will make it possible for the government to prevent duplication of financial support, reduce administrative costs in addition to bolster the readily available investment capital for small enterprises, Zuma pointed out.
He went ahead and added the fact that the government campaign to pay small businesses in a timely manner – within 30 days – was indeed proceeding well, adding that during the last financial year the SMME Hotline had received more than 20 000 telephone calls and additionally facilitated about R210-million in payments.
He at the same time added that several other departments had their own unique campaigns, such as the Department of Public Works’ Re Ya Patala (We Pay) initiative.
The government would definitely carry on with legislative reforms in order to make it simpler to register businesses, as well as improve the Competition Act to open the marketplace to new participants.
Zuma pointed out South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programme intended to generate 4.5-million job opportunities, and remarked that over a million opportunities have already been created since the beginning of phase 2 of the programme.
The programme concentrates on repairing the country’s roads networks; additionally , the government would definitely furthermore develop national infrastructure to enhance the agricultural sector. Zuma mentioned water reservoirs, windmills and irrigation schemes are going to be rehabilitated.
“These types of projects will certainly boost food security as well as create work opportunities for many people, specifically women in rural areas,” he explained.
He pointed out the the conversion process associated with the country’s television and radio signals from an analogue platform to a digital signal would undoubtedly create many employment opportunities in manufacturing, packaging, distribution and installation.
Zuma pointed out the government’s job creation initiative would undoubtedly at the same time greatly enhance youth development.
“The National Youth Development agency is in discussion together with state organs and the private sector to mainstream youth development in public sector programmes as well as to boost youth enterprises and cooperatives,” he was quoted saying.
He explained the government had in addition established the National Rural Youth Service Corps programme to help and assist youth in rural areas. Up to now, in excess of 7 000 young individuals have already been employed in the programme.
The administration has also been taking a look at concentrating on the tourism market, where Zuma remarked that for every 16 tourists that visited the country, one job opportunity was created.
South Africa’s tourist arrivals happen to be up from 6.3-million in 2009 to 7.3-million during the past year.
The country would certainly develop already present market segments while exploring the up and coming economies, at the same time seeking to increase the quantity of international conferences and sports events the country hosts.
He said South Africa had presently secured 95 international meetings and conferences between 2010 and 2016.
The government would certainly at the same time take a look at flexible visa requirements, improved landing slots at foreign airports, combined with superior travel and leisure infrastructure.
Associated with tourism, the government will carry on to build up the cultural industries sector.
Social security reform
Zuma declared that while the government would certainly look for ways to enhance the standard of living of workers, as a result of reviewing the legislation relating to labour brokers, the government’s position paper on social security reform was likely to be unveiled this coming year for discussion.
“Concerns to be addressed range from the funding and nature of the National Social Security Fund, the way the private sector occupational and retirement funds will compliment the entire system, as well as the possible regulatory structure,” he explained.
He explained the government would definitely this coming year finalise and adopt its minerals beneficiation strategy to improve the overall economy.
The nation is abundant with mineral wealth, but the majority of of the mineral deposits mined happen to be subject to beneficiation beyond the borders of South Africa, robbing the country of business opportunities.
Zuma pointed out that ministers would have to detail their respective job targets when they tabled their budget vote speeches.
He said provincial and local governments have already been requested to align programmes together with the job creation imperative, and that state-owned entities and development finance institutions would certainly in addition bolster job-creation efforts.
7.3-million tourists in 2010, 5-million HIV/Aids tests since April, 400 000 more people with running water, R9-billion for job creation, R20-billion in tax breaks to boost manufacturing … take a quick run-through of the figures contained in President Jacob Zuma’s 2011 State of the Nation address.
Take a quick run-through of the figures contained in President Jacob Zuma’s 2011 State of the Nation address.
* 21 years – since former President Nelson Mandela walked to freedom after 27 years as a political prisoner.
* 17 years – since South Africa’s transition to a non-racial, non-sexist, equal and democratic society.
* 400 000 – the number of additional people served with basic water supply in 2010.
* 81% – the proportion of the country electrified, compared to 63% in the year 2000.
* 8,6% – the decline in the murder rate over the past year.
* 15 million – the number of South Africans currently receiving social grants.
* R9 billion – Government’s fund to support job creation over the next three years.
* R10 billion – funds set aside by the Industrial Development Corporation for investment over the next five years in economic activities with high jobs potential.
* R20 billion – tax allowances or tax breaks to be put in place to promote investments, expansions and upgrades in the manufacturing sector.
* R550 million – funds set aside for upgrades and expansions.
* 30% – the mining industry’s contribution to the country’s total export revenue.
* 7,3 million – the number of tourists that arrived in South Africa last year.
* 95 – the number of meetings and conferences South Africa has secured between 2010 and 2016.
* R2 billion – the contribution of the cultural industries sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product
* R475 million – the contribution of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival to the Western Cape economy.
* 2 000 – the number of jobs created during the Cape Town International Jazz in 2010.
* R75 billion – Eskom’s investment in the new stations Medupi, Kusile and Ingula, as well as the return to service and transmission of other projects.
* 400 000 – the number of households that should have security of tenure by 2014.
* R2,6 billion – the amount that government will spend on water services this year.
* 4,5 million – the number of work opportunities that the Expanded Public Works Programme aims to create.
* 800 – the number of construction jobs created by the Bid for the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope
* 6 000 – the number of learners supported by Denel, Eskom, SAA and Transnet in technical and engineering-related scarce and critical skills.
* 105 – the number of nursing colleges that will be revitalised countrywide to train more nurses.
* 5 million – the number of HIV tests done since the launch of the testing campaign in April 2010.
* 700 000 – the number of first-time identity documents issued in Libode following the National Population Registration Campaign.
* R800 million – the funds allocated for immediate relief to assist communities affected by floods.
* 2 000 – the military personnel deployed by.the South African National Defence Force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sudan and the Central African Republic.
* 2,5 trillion – the value of South Africa’s mining assets – in US dollars.
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.