Pre-World Cup tourism soars

2010-06-15 11:17

Johannesburg - South Africa saw a 34% increase in inbound tourism spending during the first quarter of 2010, and anticipates additional growth opportunities around the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Top contributors to South Africa's inbound tourism spending in 2009 included the United Kingdom (26%), United States (15%), Mozambique (5%), and Germany and France (4% each), according to Tourism Outlook: South Africa, an annual report released on Tuesday by Visa. The figures related only to spending by Visa cardholders.

While travellers from Western Europe and the US continued to be the strongest contributors to South African tourism, significant increases in spending by cardholders from emerging markets were indicative of South Africa's growing stature as a tourism destination.

There was double- and triple-digit growth in spending by cardholders originating from Malawi (168%), Mozambique (118%), Angola (115%), China (28%) and Botswana (18%).

"This significant growth can also be attributed to developments in payments infrastructure and increased adoption and use of digital currency by consumers in developing markets," Visa said.

The data indicated South Africa weathered the economic headwinds which affected international tourism during 2009 better than most countries around the world.

While many countries saw double-digit drops in inbound tourism spending, Visa cardholder spending by international visitors to South Africa decreased only 2.7% from $1.84bn in 2008 to $1.79bn in 2009, according to the report.

The month-long World Cup is expected to add R93bn to the South African economy. This translates to a 0.54% boost to gross domestic product (GDP), a significant contribution given that the country's total GDP growth in 2010 was estimated at 2% to 2.5%.

  - Sapa

  • jackey - 2010-06-15 11:56

    World Cup infrastructural spend +- R30 billion..World Cup spend from tourist R93 Billion Profit R63Bn..Not to mention the long term effects...

  • Shirley - 2010-06-15 12:25

    I would LOVE to know where these tourists are visiting!!?? So many hotels have been offering specials for months - and some Cape Town hotels recorded occupancies as low as 6% for May!!?? Where has the money gone??

  • fred - 2010-06-17 00:41

    if my sums are correct this 93 billion is about 40000 usd per tourist spend can this be ?

  • htb777 - 2010-06-17 08:39

    These figures do not add up. Do they think we are blind and/or stupid. Yes the spending in the above mentioned countries would double and more seeing that they used to earn so little in the past that a small increase in salary might double their Visa spending.

  • Patrick - 2010-06-18 06:30

    Not surprised on the tourism "profit" seeing how hotels, restaurants, car rentals and others have doubled their prices for the tourists and forgot about the people who actually live here! This price hiking/fixing sickens me to see. Where is the body to regulate this??

  • Les - 2010-06-18 08:00

    There are more visitors here than expected.... because MATCH only counts accomodation booked through them!! I have a friend who is hosting 9 people (from Brazil and USA) and many Portuguese and Germans are staying with family...... I think figure will be closer to 500 000 people visiting Sa over the World Cup.... Pity those venues who reserved accomodation for MATCH only to find that they wouldnt be booked.. and now they sit empty... Lets see...

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