South Africa's tourism slump impacts economy

Carin Smith

Pretoria - A comparison between June 2014 and June 2015 shows that, with the exception of France, the number of tourists decreased for all the other nine leading overseas countries, according to data released by Statistics SA on Monday.

China had the largest decrease of 28.4% - from 5 823 tourists in June 2014 to 4 167 in June 2015.

In July, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde warned that SA's new visa regulations relating to unabridged birth certificates and biometric data scanning would result in tourism, especially from new source markets like China and India, decreasing and possibly "simply falling away".

The volume of foreign arrivals decreased by 9.6% to 1 087 067 in June 2015 compared with May 2015. In June 2015 most overseas tourists came from Europe (46.5%) followed by North America (25.9%), Asia (14.9%), Australasia (8.1%), Central and South America (2.8%) and the Middle East (1.9%).

The ten leading overseas countries for visitors to SA in June 2015 were the US (23.3%), UK (15.7%), Australia (6.8%), Germany (6.1%), India (5.8%), France (4.5%), The Netherlands (3.7%), China (3.7%), Italy (2.6%) and Canada (2.6%). Tourists from these ten countries constituted 74.8% of all tourists from overseas countries.

Foreign departures decreased by 9.1% to 1 006 275 in June 2015 compared with May 2015 and foreign travellers in transit decreased by 3% to 64 928.

The foreign arrivals in June were made up of 80 468 non-visitors and 1 006 599 visitors. The visitors consisted of 396 507 same-day visitors and 610 092 overnight visitors (defined as tourists).

The breakdown of the tourists by region shows that 113 689 came from overseas, 482 523 from countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and 12 620 from other African countries outside the SADC region. The country of residence of 1 260 tourists was classified as unspecified. Virtually all tourists from Africa (97.5%) came from the SADC countries.

The volume of tourism arrivals in June 2015 decreased for both South African residents and foreign travellers compared with June 2014.

A comparison between the movements in May 2015 and June 2015 indicates that the volume of arrivals for South African residents decreased by 8.1% to 400 910 and departures increased by 10.5% to 466 451. Compared to June 2014 the volume of arrivals for South African residents decreased by 2.1% and departures increased by 1.4%.

The Stats SA data shows that in June 2015 road transport was the most common mode of travel used by 2 216 814 (73.2%) out of the 3 026 499 travellers. The total number of travellers who used air transport was 801 937 (26.5%).

In the case of foreign travellers, 179 733 (16.5%) arrived by air, while 903 509 (83.1%) came by road, while 193 687 (19.2%) departed South Africa by air and 809 120 (80.4%) by road. Only 7 293 (0.3%) foreign travellers arrived in SA by sea.

The arrivals data for South African residents show that 160 233 (40%) came by air, 240 428 (60%) came by road and 249 (less than 0.1%) arrived by sea.

In June 2015 the majority of tourists (95.5%) came to South Africa for a holiday compared with 4% and 0.6% who were in SA for business and for study purposes respectively.

Fin24
Source http://www.fin24.com/Companies/TravelAndLeisure/China-leads-tourism-slum...