Tourism in South Africa has improved significantly in the first six months of this year, with the country receiving more than 2.2 million foreign tourists, up 147 percent from the same period last year, thanks to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu released data for January-June last week. Most tourists came from Europe – 563 percent. The arrival of tourists from Asia-Pacific countries is slower due to border closures and strict travel policies caused by a new wave of the COVID-19 virus.
The African aviation industry delivered more than 1.6 million arrivals to South Africa, up 109 percent from the previous two years but still 50 percent below 2019 levels.
Total foreign direct investment in the first six months of this year increased by 169 percent, while domestic travel increased by 114 percent to 15.2 million trips.
“We support the industry’s efforts to eliminate problems in issuing visas, including at the cabinet level. We will continue to intensify targeted communication on our digital platforms to market South Africa as the most attractive destination, inviting the whole world to come to us,” Sisulu said.
According to experts, the number of tourists arriving in the country will reach the level of 2019 in 2025. This is reported by China Daily, a partner of the TV BRICS network.
In consultation with tourism stakeholders, the government developed a recovery plan, followed by engagement with role players to implement it. They attended various tourism events, informing them about the readiness of the country to receive travelers.
South Africa is piloting e-visas for residents of selected countries. In addition, the South African authorities have removed the requirement for negative COVID-19 test results for those entering the country, but vaccination certificates are still required.