Tourism experts believe that the benefits of major events often become visible in increased tourism only in the years after the event. The Football World Cup 2010 has placed South Africa on a solid foundation for increased growth, and tourism officials are expecting to experience the benefits in increased travel to South Africa.
It appears that Government leaders are ready to assist in marketing South Africa as a top tourist destination. President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday became the first African head of state to sign the Global Leaders for Tourism campaign – a joint UN World Tourism Organisation and World Travel and Tourism Council initiative to boost international travel and tourism.
Speaking at the signing ceremony President Zuma said South Africa had identified tourism as one of the six “job drivers” in his government’s New Growth Path framework.
How much growth is expected?
President Zuma announced that the following expectations:
- To increase the number of foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa from seven million in 2009, to 15 million by 2020.
- To increase tourism’s total contribution to the economy from R189 billion in 2009, to R499 billion by 2020,” he said.
- Government wants to increase the number of domestic tourists in South Africa from 14.6 million in 2009, to 18 million by 2020.
- It is the vision of government to create 235,000 new tourism jobs by 2020.
Tourism’s contribution to the country’s GDP had increased from just less than five percent in 1994, to an estimated 7.7 percent in 2010, and the sector was well positioned to be a leading avenue to address unemployment.
Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said international tourism forecasts showed the sector was set to soar:
“Two years ago, there were 935 million tourists [internationally], and in just 11 years, this figure will double to 1.6 billion international arrivals,” he said.
Hotels, Guesthouses and those who provide Bed and Breakfast will all benefit from increased tourism. It is however not only these businesses who will benefit, but also small entrepreneurs such as taxi drivers, vendors etc.
South African cities are ready to shine as well! It has been revealed that Cape Town has come out tops against cities like London, Sydney and New York in this year’s TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Destination Awards.
TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site, and the awards are based on millions of opinions posted by TripAdvisor travellers. Leading the pack of top 10 cities, Cape Town also beat Paris, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro and Rome.