President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma has welcomed the findings that reveal the country has increased its number of international tourist arrivals.
Accounting for the first six months of the year, a rise of 10.5 per cent in growth has impressed Zuma who said “our tourism strategy is proving to be successful. We congratulate the tourism industry, both the informal and forma sectors, as well as the department of tourism.”
A Department of Tourism statement read “Stats SA’s tourism figures indicate that South Africa experienced an excellent first half of the year, attracting 4,416,373 tourists to the country between January and June 2012, compared to 3,996,760 tourist arrivals for the same period in 2011.”
Having hosted the football World Cup in 2010, South Africa has further transmitted its natural beauty to the world. With hotspots such as Table Mountain, Robben Island and the Free State; it is no wonder that the country is undergoing something of a tourism boom.
This message is transmitting successfully beyond the continent also with growth figures of 17.1 per cent in overseas arrivals, and these guests may be tempted to return to what is regarded a warm and welcoming nation.
Zuma further explained “Without the display of that special South African warmth and hospitality, tourists would not be coming in such great numbers to our country.”
China has now overtaken France as the fourth-largest overseas market enjoying holidays to South Africa and the introduction of a direct South Africa Airways flight from Beijing seems to have had a desirable effect.
Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said “Despite the global economic downturn, our focused marketing efforts and the hard work of everyone in the tourism industry are paying dividends.”