Weekend Post (South Africa)

Budget bodes well for SA tourism

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FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan’s focus on tourism promotion in his budget speech bodes well for inbound tourism, which has already seen a 13% increase in tourist arrivals over the past year, according to the Board of Airline Representa­tives South Africa (Barsa).

According to StatsSA a total of 10 044 163 internatio­nal tourist arrivals were recorded in South Africa last year, representi­ng an additional 1.1 million internatio­nal tourists in 2016 compared to 2015.

The UK remained the leading source market for overseas arrivals to South Africa last year (447 840 arrivals) followed by the US (345 013) and Germany (311 832). China remained the leading growth market, with year-on-year growth recorded at 38%. Arrivals from India grew by 22%.

“Air transport plays a critical role in supporting the economic growth of a country, and with the additional internatio­nal airline capacity we have seen in the past year, especially into Cape Town Internatio­nal Airport, tourist arrivals to South Africa will continue to be positively impacted,” Barsa chief executive June Crawford said.

Gordhan announced there would be focused support on labour-intensive sectors, with an additional R494-million allocated to tourism promotion.

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