Find Tourism and Travel partners in South Africa
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) estimated that in 2011 the travel and tourism industry contributed 8.6% of South Africa’s GDP. As a result of this, the WTTC ranked South Africa 96th out of 181 countries in terms of the relative contribution of tourism to the economy or GDP. Tourism’s contribution to GDP is set to rise steadily over the next decade. The industry is a significant employer in the country and supports 9.0% of total employment, which is forecast to rise in line with growth in the sector, meaning that over 1.4 million people will be employed both directly and indirectly in travel and tourism in 2022 (WTTC estimate). Visitor exports generated 8.7% of total exports in 2011. Business tourism is growing rapidly; approximately 6.5% of South Africa’s foreign visitors in 2007 were business tourists and this percentage is expected to increase. In 2010 South Africa received over 8 million visitors.
Collaboration between the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South African Tourism, the Department of Transport, and the private sector has proven to be successful in attracting new business to the country. The tourism industry and infrastructure of South Africa is well developed. South Africa Tourism is the official tourist board and promotes the country as an affordable way to experience wildlife, adventure and cultural tourism in Africa, with its main target audiences in North America, the UK, Europe and other parts of Africa. The anti-apartheid struggle and Nelson Mandela’s historical significance are promoted as important parts of cultural tourism in the country along with an opportunity to explore Zulu culture. Active tourism includes trekking, safaris and hunting on private reserves, as well as surfing, diving with sharks and climbing the world famous Table Mountain. South Africa is also a centre for wine production and wine trails are a popular attraction for tourists. Ecotourism, ‘voluntourism’ and responsible tourism are important considerations for tourism organisations as this kind of travel grows in popularity.
Investment in the travel and tourism industry was ZAR42.5bn in 2011, constituting 7.6% of total investment. This was expected to rise by 0.8% in 2012, and then continue to rise by 3.0% pa over the following ten years, reaching ZAR57.9bn by 2022.