Friday, 6 January 2017

SOTH AFRICA: South African Tourism Rose In 2016

South African tourism has improved tremendously over the last year with a 26.6 percent increase in tourism revenue as it becomes attractive for European travelers looking for high tides and sunny escapes from an otherwise wintery home. The sunny weather has not only become appealing for European tourists but also for Indians wanting to experience everything South African tourism has to offer.

Citing Country Manager for India's South African Tourism Hanneli Slabber, a four-city road show showcasing South African tourism in key Indian cities namely Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Kolkata in January 2016 has become "encouraging" and "insightful" as the feedback allowed the South African Tourism Board and its partners to "streamline our offerings and consumer engagement." He added that the goal of the program was to bring in more tourists from India and have them stay longer.

According to the news website, India has the eighth largest number of tourists visiting the country with about 73,902 arriving in the country by the end of third quarter 2016. Official data from South African Tourism Board shows South Africans enjoy their local tourism with a figure of 570,944, followed by Europe with a total of visitors from Austria, Greece, Switzerland and others with 105,035.

According to African news network Sowetani Live, many Europeans are attracted to the sunny and warm climate of African states because of its "wide array of outdoor attractions" such as beaches, skydiving and water sports. The news website highlighted that climate change -- namely global warming -- could deteriorate Africa's lucrative tourism boom and said the changes are possibly inevitable.

Hotels in South African states such as Zimbabwe have increased in tourist occupancies by 80 percent from 60 percent but hotel occupancies in renowned luxury sites including Victoria Falls and Kariba only stood at 85-90%. According to local Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality analysis, the occupancies have declined due to the limited disposable income of domestic tourists who are currently dominating the local tourism market of Zimbabwe.