Johannesburg - South Africa continues to be an attractive international tourism destination, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.
"We are pleased to see that the considerable investment by government and the private sector in the tourism industry, and our continued targeted marketing around the world, are beginning to pay off," Zuma said in a statement.
He said Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk announced an increase of 10.4% with 7 535.498 tourist arrivals between January 2012 and October 2012 compared to 6 823.517 tourist arrivals for the same period in the previous year.
"We congratulate the tourism sectors on this achievement."
He said tourism was one of the country's six job drivers in terms of the New Growth Path, the economic strategy within the umbrella of the National Development Plan.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation indicated that global tourism growth was 4% in 2012, which meant South African tourism grew above the global rate of tourism growth.
Foreign direct spend from international tourists between January and September 2012 was R53.4bn.
The SA Reserve Bank reported travel receipts increased again in the second quarter of 2012, rising by R5bn to R83.5bn.
This was a record high and far exceeded the level of travel receipts recorded at the time of the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup.
For the next five years South Africa had already secured over 200 international conferences, which were estimated to attract about 300 000 delegates and provide an economic boost of more than R1.6bn for the economy.
"We want to make a huge success of the Brics summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in Durban this month as this is also an enormous marketing opportunity for the republic," Zuma said.
"We urge our tour operators and South Africans in general to use this opportunity to market the country further, as part of boosting the economy and creating jobs."
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