The outlook for rest of the year looks positive with forecasts for most regions showing reasonable growth in line with expected travelling patterns.
The number of South Africans who traveled within the country during the first four months of the year has risen by more than 50% when compared to 2018.
“The period from January to April 2019, showed exceptional growth on the domestic tourism front when compared to the same period last year,” said the South African Tourism in a statement on Tuesday.
Domestic holiday trips rose by 59,7% – a staggering achievement – highlighting one of South African Tourism objectives of making local travel accessible to all.
“SA Tourism has been focusing on marketing campaigns that entice South Africans to travel their country. We are noting the impact of our marketing efforts. In Q1 (January to March) 2019, 18.4% of South Africans mentioned not having a reason to travel, an improvement from 20.5% in 2018,” said acting CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini.
Overall, total domestic trips grew by 11% during January to April 2019, a healthy indication of the growing strength of the domestic tourism industry.
Despite a strong showing during April 2019, where growth was recorded from major international source markets like the UK and Germany, the cumulative four-month total reflects an overall decline of 1,3% when compared to the same period last year.
North America and Asia were the only regions to show positive growth during this period.
“We have analyzed the current international travel environment and are putting measures in place to support the growth of the local tourism industry,” said Dlamini.
“We are working closely with the private sector to show confidence to the world that South Africa is indeed a memorable destination worth travelling to and visiting.”
Seven markets have been identified as key focus areas for the year ahead, which include; United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, India, Chin, Australia and Nigeria.
“While the South African tourism industry showed slight growth at the end of 2018, we are still working towards achieving our targets set in our 5-in-5 strategy which aims to have a further 4 million international tourist arrivals and a further one million domestic holiday trips by 2021,” said Dlamini.
“In addition to this, we have heeded the call by President Ramaphosa to further boost international arrivals by doubling the amount of arrivals to 21 million by 2030.”
The outlook for rest of the year does look positive with forecasts for most regions showing reasonable growth in line with expected travelling patterns.
“South Africa remains a destination with lots to offer across all nine provinces and we are determined to show to the world the beauty that comes with South Africa along with its value for money offerings,” concluded Dlamini.