Darek Hanekom, South Africa’s Minister for Tourism, is confident things will look up for the country’s tourism sector by 2019 seeing as the drought in Cape Town has stopped and some of the country’s travel rules that restricted minors have been relaxed for some countries.
These two factors will account for the stalled growth in the number of tourists coming from overseas in 2018 when compared with the numbers in 2017. Things changed at the end of October 2018. Sources in the tourism industry have confirmed that tourist arrivals from overseas for November and December have been fair but nothing outstanding.
There was a slow growth this year despite the very significant rise in the number of Argentinian and Brazilian tourists who visited the country in the year and even some others from the USA and Canada. There would have been even more tourists from these countries visiting South Africa save for the drought, the minister revealed in an interview.
In 2017, tourist arrivals from overseas showed a growth of 2.7 million which was a 7.2% growth.
SA Gears up for Next Year
Hanekom revealed that more campaigns would be made in 2019 to attract more tourists from China and India as the two countries have big prospects for growth but have not performed well of late. The minister had high hopes about the future. He warned though that the national and provincial elections coming up next year might slightly hamper the expected results.
According to him, the drought drastically affected the number of tourists that troop into South Africa each year from Europe. Countries like Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, etc. from where tourists usually come in their numbers recorded low numbers. Hanekom described the situation as quite dramatic.
The visa requirements that were relaxed for minors only applies to visitors coming into SA with children and who are from any of South Africa’s visa exempt countries such as the US, France, the UK, Germany, etc. The requirement still stands for minors who are travelling with adults from any of the countries that are not on the visa exempt list.
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