If there is any other sector the South African government gets revenue from aside mining, it is tourism. South Africa is known for its procession of the most attractive places in the world were gifts of nature are endowed. Talk of the table mountain in Cape Town, gold mining city of Johannesburg, the golden mile beachfront in Durban, the kruger national park just to mention a few, are some of the awesome places that the country makes income from
Statistics from the tourist department revealed that South Africa had a huge turn out of tourist visitation in the country in the last quarter of last month. But despite this great achievement, the final statistics showed that tourist arrivals reduced by 6.8 percent compared to what was obtained in 2014.
According to the South African verification service Grant Thornton, the country had its biggest loss from African tourist where about 7.3% was recorded as against the 2014 record and tourists from the overseas outside of Africa, declined by 4,9% in 2015.
Tourists from China was recorded to be the highest loss South Africa had in the first seven months of 2015 but it grew to about 2.2% in the final four months of last year which made it higher than the 2014 record. But result from other key tourists from African countries had a huge drop at the end of 2015. Visitors from Brazil dropped by 235%, Ghana by 18,2%, Uganda by 13%, Nigeria by 10,6% and Italy by 10,6%.
However, the most significant losses in tourism were recorded during the first nine months of 2015, while the final quarter of the year – from October to December – provided relief as South Africa significantly improved statistics and data.
Speaking further on this, the Grant Thornton’s advisory director Lee-Anne Bac said tourism grew in 2014 only by 7.5% meaning that the 2015’s negative performance “has wiped out two years’ worth of vital tourism growth.” He added that despite 2015’s 4,9% decrease in international arrivals, overseas tourism market stabilized mainly in October following a disastrous first nine months of the year. “This recovery showed even greater improvements with 6.4% recorded for November and 6.0% for December 2015
The said decline is seen to have affected most controversial decisions the country proposed to embark on. One of such is the implementation of the controversial visa regulations which saw hundreds of family travelers disappointed over the Christmas holiday period.
The regulations has however been revised and the Departments of Home Affairs and Tourism was helped by an Inter-Ministerial Committee, which hopes to see tourism stabilize again in 2016.
Meanwhile, Bac has assured South Africans for a better achievements in 2016 as the tourism sector is out to implement the recent changes of travel laws that has been made.
“The past year has been extremely tumultuous for the tourism sector and various economic and social issues both at home and in some source countries coupled with immigration amendments caused great concern.
“However, one thing is for certain, much of this is now behind us and South Africa’s tourism sector is resilient. Recent changes to travel laws and the sheer nature of this industry will hopefully help it to rebound from its current decline in the months and years to come.” he said.