This is the suggestion of the latest MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, which ranks destination cities according to their number of international visitors and levels of cross-border spending, South Africa Tourism reports.
In the index, South Africa emerged as a strong performer in the Middle East and Africa region, with Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban having proved particularly popular among holidaymakers.
It revealed that of Johannesburg’s 2.5 million visitors, 40 per cent started their journey in London, while the majority of the remainder travelled from Dubai, Frankfurt, Paris and Gaborone in Botswana.
The survey also showed that Durban will be Africa’s fastest-growing city in terms of both tourist numbers and their spending levels. The city, home to approximately three million people, is often referred to as a destination “where east meets west”.
Durban received further good news earlier this month when the Dubai-based Emirates airline launched new South Africa flights to King Shaka International Airport.
Fouad Caunhye, Emirate’s southern Africa regional manager, said the new services are testament to Durban’s attractiveness as a destination, despite many travellers having tightened their purse strings.
“Durban is one of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations and the introduction of the new Boeing 777 is a direct response to increasing passenger demand on this route,” he commented.