Statistics show that the South African tourism sector is in decline
The South African attraction
South Africa is a beautiful and diverse country. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that it has been a popular tourist destination with global travellers since it rejoined the international stage in 1994.
So much so, in fact, that is has become a crucial sector of the economy and provides strong social and economic value to millions of locals in South Africa every year.
The net result of this is that facts and figures pertaining to the industry are keenly watched and the published findings from Stats SA do not make for optimistic reading.
Certain issues faced by the industry are unavoidable, such as the recent drought in the Western Cape, but more can and should be done about others, such as the crime rate.
While the beauty of South Africa has seen the tourism sector stubbornly grow year-on-year, it seems the tipping point where the country’s magic is enough to overlook its problems may have been reached.
The biggest decline was from the Middle East, which fell by a shocking 19.4%.
The regions that boasted increases in visitors were Asia (up by just 0.8%), North America (up 1.4%), countries in east and central Africa (up 4%), while tourists from North Africa saw a massive boost of 13.6%.
The biggest concern however is that the numbers for Q1 2019 aren’t just worse than 12 months before, they are lower than 2017’s numbers.
Source: STATS SA