SA tops African tourism index

24 May 2024 | SANews

South Africa has ranked the highest in the African region on the 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) by the World Economic Forum.

“We are extremely pleased with this ranking as it affirms our commitment and work to elevate the significance and contribution of the tourism sector in South Africa,” Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille said on Thursday.

South Africa was ranked 55 among 119 countries and emerged as the leading country in the rankings for the African continent in the second edition of an index by the World Economic Forum.

The report, which was released earlier this week, revealed that South Africa is home to the largest Travel and Tourism Economy in Africa. It measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable and resilient development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn contributes to the development of a country.

In 2023, South Africa welcomed close to 8.5 million international visitors of which 6.4million were from the African continent. This represents a significant increase of 48.9% compared to 2022 arrivals.

During the first quarter of 2024 – January to March – South African welcomed 2.4million visitors from the rest of the world. This represents a notable 15.4% increase when compared with the same period in 2023.

The tourism sector has achieved robust growth over the past year and this is due to closer partnerships and collaborations with the private sector to grow tourism to its full potential,” De Lille said.

In the 2024 Index, South Africa moved up seven places compared to its previous ranking and scored high for price competitiveness, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) readiness, natural resources and travel and tourism socio-economic impact.

“We are delighted by the growth and our mission remains to exponentially grow arrival numbers and the overall performance of the tourism sector. The sector already makes a significant contribution to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and job creation efforts but there is still so much more to be done.

“We have been working closer with the private sector and we are bearing fruit. I want to acknowledge and thank the tourism private sector stakeholders for all their hard work and collaborating with government to grow this exciting and important sector. The South Africa tourism sector’s greatest asset is our people and we will continue working to grow tourism’s contribution to the prosperity of people and the planet,” the Minister said.

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