Safety strategy billed to boost tourist numbers

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has noted with concern the report on the decline in the number of tourists visiting South Africa.

The figures released in Tourism and Migration September 2019 by Statistics SA revealed that the total number of tourist arrivals (7 562 743) went down by -2.1% (-164 989) for the period January to September 2019, compared to the same period in 2018 (7 727 732).

“The major impact on the numbers has been the concerns around the safety and security of tourists in our country. We will at the beginning of December, jointly with our stakeholders, announce our Tourism Safety Strategy and the implementation plans as a response to the concerns raised by our key markets,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.

The decline was mostly influenced by a decrease in arrivals from Australasia and Europe, with a decrease of 5% and 3.9% respectively.

“Although international tourism numbers declined from January to September 2019 compared with the previous year, we are pleased that tourist arrivals from the Middle East went up by 4.2% followed by Asia (1.3%), Central and South America (0.3%) and North America (0.2%). It is a good indicator that more focused and aggressive marketing strategies in these regions will yield positive results,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.

The Minister has led delegations to various markets such as China, Japan and is currently visiting Ghana and Nigeria with the aim of increasing the numbers of tourist arrivals.

“We are committed to reach the target of 21 million arrivals by 2030 and we are working with all the stakeholders in the sector to make this a reality. We realise as we work towards this target, we might experience some fluctuations but we will ensure that the overall trajectory remains positive,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.

The Minister said more work is being done in South Africa to engage various stakeholders such airlines to have joint marketing strategies to boost numbers. –