Statistics SA has released the December 2013 arrival figures, allowing us to take a look at how tourism performed last year.
Total overseas arrivals (excludes African arrivals) grew by 5,76% from 2 505 762 to 2 650 059. This is slightly behind Africa’s average growth rate of 6% but slightly ahead of the global growth rate of 5% (according to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer).
While the UK retains its spot as the biggest source market, arrivals dropped by 1,33%. Last year there were 438 023 arrivals while this year there were just 432 186.
The UK was followed by the US, which saw a 6,24% increase in arrivals from 326 643 in 2012 to 347 030 in 2013; and then Germany which grew by a healthy 12,84% from 266 333 to 300 531.
China retained its number-four spot and saw growth of 16,12% from 132 327 in 2012 to 153 662 in 2013. This was followed by France with 9,32% growth, Australia with 3,66%, The Netherlands with 2,35%, India with 4,83%, Brazil with 5,18% and Canada with 2,56% growth.
However, transit is still included in Stats SA’s publication despite a lack of clarity over the definition. This is problematic, as transit travellers account for 29,29% of Chinese travellers, and a huge 44,08% of all Brazilian travellers. Once transit travellers are taken out of the calculation, Chinese arrivals drop down to seventh place in terms of total arrivals.