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Johannesburg

South Africa enjoyed tourism boost in 2012

Tourist numbers in South Africa increased by 10.4 per cent between January and October Last year. According to recent figures released by the tourism ministry, 7,535,498 tourists visited the country last year, compared to 6,823,517 the previous year. South Africa’s tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has said he is pleased with the continuing growth of interest in the country. “Positive growth from the traditional markets in general and Europe in particular gives us confidence that the work we are doing to grow tourist arrivals is paying dividends,” said van Schalkwyk in a statement today. He added that “South Africa has every reason to feel confident about the state of its tourism industry going forward.” Visitors from Europe contributed largely to the total number of tourists flying into South Africa that year, with German tourist numbers increasing by 12.2 per cent in 2012. The tourism minister has stressed the importance of the effect the German market has on South Africa and that the increase in arrivals from the country needs to be carefully maintained. The country also saw an 18 per cent increase in visitors from India in 2012. The increase is said to have been a direct result of a series of tourism campaigns aimed specifically at the Indian Market. "South African Tourism has been promoting our destination in India since 2005, focusing on film, fashion, sports and food and wine," said van Schalkwyk. "Three years ago we identified India as a core market and capacitated it with a fully operational South African Tourism office." The tourism ministry aims to attract 15 million tourists to the county by 2020, with the hopes of creating more than 225,000 new jobs in the sector. Image sources: 1 2
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