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 | BusinessDay.co.za