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August tourist arrivals figures up by 14%
August tourist arrivals figures up by 14%
Tourist arrivals to South Africa increased by 14% (102 390) this August compared to August 2015.

According to Statistics SA, a total of 833 638 tourist arrivals were recorded for August 2016, compared to the same month of the previous year which were 731 248. 

The increase is evident in all regions with the Middle East increasing by 55%, followed by Asia 37.9%, Central and South America 24.9%, Europe 22.3% and Australasia 12.2%.
Tourists from African markets recorded at 11.9%, and North America at 10.4%. 

“Tourists are finding value for money when they visit South Africa, and the recent arrival figures are a testament of that,” said Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom. 

“Interestingly, tourist arrivals in all regions increased by 14.8% compared in the January to August 2016 period compared to same period in 2015. Asia increased by 41.2%, Middle East 39.6%, Central and South America 19%, North America 17.9%, North America 15.9% and Africa 13.4%,” added Hanekom.

South Africa’s major overseas markets performed well in August 2016. Tourist arrivals from the USA grew by 18.6%, Germany 20.7% and the UK by 11.5% from January to August 2016. Non-traditional source markets also experienced high growth during the same period, with China recording an impressive   64.1% and India 27%.

The UK was the largest overseas source market for South Africa this August, maintaining the same trend of August 2015. 

Germany moved from the 9th to 8th source market while the Netherlands has now assumed the position of South Africa’s 10th source market. China (including Hong Kong) replaced Italy, becoming South Africa’s 14th source market, and Belgium entered the top 20 source markets. 

The increase of tourists from Saudi Arabia is also noteworthy. Although they do not feature in the top twenty source markets, a total of 2268 tourists from Saudi Arabia visited South Africa in August 2016 which is an increase of 234% compared to August 2015. The upward trend is significant and encouraging especially when it is taken into account that tourist from the Middle East region tend to fall into the high spend category. This should be viewed against the background of the Minister’s trip to Saudi Arabia last year. 

“As an industry, we are confident we can increase international tourist arrivals by 50% in the next five years through improved market access and innovating marketing ventures. The increase can only bode well for our economy and create much needed jobs for our people,“ said Derek Hanekom. 


Mr. Trevor Bloem 
Chief Director: Communications
Telephone: +27 (0) 12 444 6607