By Steuart Pennington
Most of us will have returned from holiday by now, some of us largely unaware of the number of tourists visiting our country, and some of us very aware!
Below are some useful numbers regarding the impact of tourism in respect of contribution to GDP, job creation and the popularity of South Africa as a destination.
South Africa remains one of the top five fastest growing tourism destinations globally.
The tourism sector has shown some resilience in the face of a tough economic climate.
In 2017, the sector had its most successful year of job creation in recent times. The tourism sector created 31 752 net new jobs in 2017.
This is the most net new jobs generated by tourism within a year in at least the last eight years.
Road passenger transport was responsible for the bulk of tourism jobs created in 2017, generating 16 676 net new jobs.
The industry was followed by accommodation and air passenger transport.
It’s a real pleasure
The tourism sector contributed 2.8% (or R130 billion) to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, making it larger than the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry.
International visitors were responsible for 44% (R121 billion) of total tourism spending in 2017, while domestic visitors contributed 56% (R156 billion).
Total tourism spending amounted to R277 billion.
Cape Town recently jumped 15 places and into the top 40 destinations for business tourism in the world.
In 2017, Cape Town was crowned as the number one city in Africa for business tourism events by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) for 2016.
This was the fourth consecutive year that Cape Town was crowned.
The city was followed by Marrakech (Morocco), Kigali (Rwanda), Durban and Johannesburg as the top five African cities.
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