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SA Tourism numbers

London, United...
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SA Tourism numbers

I have always believed Marthinus van Schalkwyk's statements that say tourism numbers are at their highest ever. My own observations on recent trips seem to back up this view, although to be fair I tend to visit the most visited parts of the country - Kruger and Cape Town.

What are your anecdotal observations of the tourism industry? I ask the question, as I have just read the following article:

mg.co.za/article/2014-05-08-tourism-the-miss…

I listened to a TA rep talking to Bruce Whitfield on Cape Talk 702 who said that tourism posts on the SA forum are incredibly high at the moment.

There are lots of contrasted stats it seems?

Edited: 13 May 2014, 22:30
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1. Re: SA Tourism numbers

I think demand for flights to SA from the UK is higher, hence the more expensive flights this year. Whether that demand is pleasure or business driven, I don't know?

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2. Re: SA Tourism numbers

I have a client whose business is organising flights, tours, etc for foreign visitors to Rsa & her business is definitely growing well year on year.

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3. Re: SA Tourism numbers

Yes this is what I thought. Business is booming in line with the Minister for Tourism's statements.

One thing I haven't seen for a while, is a poster advertising a South African holiday at a London underground station. A few years ago there were several, including one of the Royal Natal National Park and another of Table Mountain taken from Bloubergstrand.

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4. Re: SA Tourism numbers

The Mail&Guardian is RSA's most independent paper. I give far more credence to their stuff ahead of other outlets. It's absurd to include 1.9million people from Lesotho (a very poor country) as 'tourists'. So have no reason to disbelieve the validity when journo writes:

'There is widespread suspicion of these arrivals figures. Indeed, the most recent numbers (December 2013) show a “healthy” growth of 5.76%, but ignore the fact that our biggest source market, Britain, is in a decline and has been for some time.

But then the numbers can be dodgy. Lesotho’s visitor arrivals in 2012 show that 98% of them were on holiday, with only 2% coming into South Africa for business or other reasons. Lesotho has a population of about 1.9-million, yet in 2012 we hosted more than 1.6-million Lesotho “holiday-makers!” This anomaly appears when 100 people from Lesotho travel over our border 100 times a year to buy produce – and are counted as 10 000 tourism arrivals.

So SAT and Van Schalkwyk are not telling Parliament the whole story. South Africa’s 2012 tourism arrivals from Britain were down 4% compared with 2003. The December 2013 figures show a further slide of 1.33% – in the busiest month of the year. Over the past decade, South Africa cumulatively spent close to R10-billion of public funds on international marketing campaigns, but there is little evidence we are getting any bang for these considerable bucks.

It gets worse. More international tourism arrivals in South Africa are spending less time here, using it as a hub for visits to other Southern African destinations (Botswana, Namibia or Zambia), where the bulk of their tourism spend takes place.'

mg.co.za/article/2014-05-08-tourism-the-miss…

My own experience living for 4 years in Cape Town is that beds, vacancies on tours, vacancies at most (not all) game lodges exist the whole year around. Prices in USD have fallen and RSA offers incredible value. I went to Madikwe last year and apart from a lovely fellow from Canada we were only people in lodge.... for 2 of our 3 nights.'

I feel RSA outranks just about any other spot for value. It's great to see most Americans arriving. Tourism is a big employer. Plus RSA has the biggest variety and most numbers of antelope. Using # of 'hits on TA' as a guide is pointless. Far more people have ready internet access in RSA than any other sub-saharan country.

5. Re: SA Tourism numbers

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