S. Africa records 9mn tourists in 2007


South Africa is well on its way to reaching a total of 10-million arrivals, according to Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

“When three years ago we said we aimed to welcome ten-million arrivals by 2010 it was said to be impossible,” he told MPs in the National Assembly on Tuesday. “But the arrivals for 2007 totaled a record of 9.07-million travelers. We shall definitely reach this total by 2010.”

The minister pointed out that global tourist growth last year was six percent. But this country’s tourist arrivals grew by 8.6 percent, indicating that South Africa continues to outgrow global rates.

He said that arrivals from the United States now make it South Africa’s second biggest source market.

Van Schalkwyk arrivals from there have shown consistently good growth, and that the arrivals here have now more than caught up the collapse in arrivals that followed the events of 9/11.

“The increase in arrivals from across all the regions of the world, and in particular air arrivals, reflects on the success of the airlift strategy passed by Cabinet in 2006 which resulted in the increased access to the South African market for foreign carriers,” Van Schalkwyk said.