South Africa’s tourist arrivals up by 4.6%


The total number of travellers who visited South Africa through all its ports of entry during October 2009 lifted 4.6% year-on-year (y/y) to 2.375 million from the 10.4% y/y increase in September, according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) data released today.

A month-on-month (m/m) increase of 3.1% was seen.

The travellers through the ports were made up of 722,616 South African residents and 1,652,673 foreign travellers.

In October 2009, a high proportion of overseas tourists arrived in the country by air 164,663 (86,7%) compared with those who came in by road 24,264 (12,8%). This is in contrast to tourists from SADC countries who came into South Africa predominantly by road 395,247 (93,1%) compared with 29,102 (6.9%) coming by air. A relatively high proportion 12,217 (85.3%) of tourists from ‘other’ African countries flew into the country but 2,066 (14.4%) used road transport.

In October 2009, overseas tourists came mainly from Europe, 130,232 (68.6%); followed by North America, 24,076 (12.7%); Asia, 18,450 (9.7%); Australasia, 8,366 (4.4%); Central and South America, 5,886 (3.1%); and Middle East, 2,922 (1.5%). Virtually all tourists from Africa came from the SADC countries, 424,428 (96.7%).

The UK, 40,829 (21.5%); Germany, 23,300 (12.3%); USA, 19,536 (10.3%); The Netherlands, 15,612 (8.2%); France, 11,834 (6.2%); Australia, 7,029 (3.7%); India, 5,047 (2.7%); and Belgium, 4,809 (2.5%) were the eight leading overseas source countries. Tourists from these eight countries constitute 67.4% of all tourists from overseas countries.

An overwhelming majority (97.1%) of tourists were in South Africa for holidays. This is a large difference compared with those who have come to study (1.2%) and those on business (1.6%).

A detailed analysis by Stats SA reveals that all the overseas regions had at least 92.0% of their tourists coming to South Africa for holidays. Tourists from Australasia (97.9%), Europe (97.7%), North America (97.5%), Central and South America (96.7%), Middle East (92.6%), and Asia (92.0%) were in South Africa for holidays.

Tourists from Middle East and Asia were more diverse in their purpose.

Middle East and Asia had 5.8% and 6.2% respectively of their tourists in South Africa for business. Furthermore, students made up 1.5% and 1.4% of Middle East and Asia tourists respectively.

There were 341,201 (54.0%) male and 290,126 (45.9%) female tourists. The overseas tourists were made up of 102,810 (54.1%) male tourists and 86,957 (45.8%) female tourists.