The total amount of tourists arriving in South Africa went up by about 13% in 2016 to 10,044,163 and the trend continues with an all-time high of 1,040,534 tourists (excl. tourists in transit) in January of this year, according to Statistics SA. The number of tourists travelling to South Africa has been increasing since the strict visa restrictions were eased and the devaluation of its currency. However, South Africa still needs to address a few challenges to keep the positive growth of tourist arrivals. A continuing drought, low commodity prices and weak demand from the nation's main export partners caused South Africa's economy to experience a GDP growth of 0.3% in 2016 (the lowest GDP growth since 2009 recession), followed by a decline of 0.7% during the first quarter of this year. The removal of deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and finance minister Pravin Gordhan from the governments' Cabinet by President Jacob Zuma in March, resulted in the Rand's exchange rate to drop and Standard & Poor's to downgrade South Africa's investment status to “junk”. The future of SA's tourism is looking promising though as the Rand has recently strengthened again and more than 2500 rooms are expected to be added over the next 5 years, of which a new Radisson Blu, Radisson Red, Sun International, Marriott, Tsogo Sun and Ibis are part of. The World Bank predicts a GDP growth of 1.1% in 2017 and 1.8% for 2018.