Tourism on the rise in South Africa

SA Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk
Photo by Remy Steinegger – World Economic Forum

By Nicholas Pescod – AfricanBrains

Tourism in South Africa grew by as much as 10.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 according to Tourism Minister, Marthinus van Schalkwyk said over the weekend.

According to Business Day, during the month January, February and March saw a total of 2,226,807 visitors to the African nation.

Minisiter van Schalkwyk said it was an encouraging sign and that tourism growth had come from all regions.

“Emerging markets continued their robust, positive growth of 2011,” van Schalkwyk said. “While traditional markets recovered the lost ground of the period 2008-11 and bounced back to reach positive growth in the early part of the year.”

Tourists from overseas also saw an increase of 17.8 per cent, with the United Kingdom remaining at the biggest source of tourism. The United Kingdom produced 133,729 tourists for the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 9.5 per cent from last year.

“Robust sales and marketing partnerships across the region, South Africa’s accessibility, and the exceptional value for money that the destination offered to travellers were significant contributing factors to tourist arrivals growth from Europe,” Mr van Schalkwyk said.

Tourism numbers from the United States also saw an increase, up 16 per cent from last year.

Source: Zeenat Moorad |

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Nicholas Pescod attended Iroquois Ridge High School in Oakville, Ontario and graduated in 2007. After deciding to return for an extra semester of high school he attended the University of Guelph in 2008. In 2009 he transferred from University into Centennial College’s journalism program and graduated in 2012. Pescod has been a contributor to the East-Toronto Observer, and he currently contributes to the North Shore News’ entertainment section. While at Centennial College he created Radio Nation, a weekly Internet radio show with a focus on indie music. Since Radio Nation began in November of 2010 there have been over 70 different live guests. In 2011 Pescod received a Global Citizenship award from Centennial for his work on Radio Nation. The show has regular listeners from around the world. Email: