Tourism boost in South Africa

August 2016 - Latest figures from Statistics SA show South Africa is currently experiencing a boom in tourism, with international visitor numbers to our shores increasing more than three times global growth rates.

south africa tourism

Over 760,000 tourists visited South Africa in May 2016, 11% more than May 2015, with many coming from countries such as China, India and even Saudi Arabia.

This brought the total tourist arrivals for January to May 2016 to over 4.2 million, which is an increase of almost 19% compared to the same period last year.


  • Amongst SA's traditional overseas markets, US visitors increased 18% in 2016, German visitors by 21% and UK visitors by 13.7%.

    Arrivals from China increased by a spectacular 50% year-on-year, while Indian visitors increased by 37%. For the first time

    For the first time, visitors from Sadia Arabia numbered more than 1 000.

Said Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, "I am delighted with the impressive growth in tourist numbers so far this year. Continued investment in creative and effective joint marketing, infrastructure, tourism experiences and human resources will allow the destination to both capitalise and continue with this trend."

Said Melissa Nortje, First Car Rental Executive Head - Strategy, Development & Marketing, "South Africa has always been an affordable destination to international markets, with the falling Rand making it even more so. The latest figures are great news for all companies operating in the tourism sector and for South Africa's economy. It's now our role as companies operating in the tourism sector to make sure all these international visitors have a great South African experience by ensuring first class service at every touchpoint."

south africa tourism

Planning on visiting South Africa? Click here to read First Car Rental's guide on South African visitor visa requirements

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