International arrivals to South Africa have shown a 1,1%, monthly increase year-on-year from 1 336 973 in October 2016 to 1 351 940 in October 2017, according to Stats SA’s monthly Tourism and Migration Report.

The report also shows that international arrivals increased by 4% in October last year to 1 351 940, from 1 300 502 in September 2017.

Distribution of overseas tourists

Europe led the way with 176 969 arrivals (66% of distribution); North America came second with 36 277 arrivals (14%); followed by Asia, 29 513 arrivals (11%); Australasia, 10 711 arrivals (4%); Central and South America, 9 341 arrivals (4%); and the Middle East, 4 214 arrivals (1%).

The ten leading overseas countries for arrivals were Germany, 46 290 (17% of total tourists from overseas countries); UK, 38 350 (14%); US, 29 328 (11%); France, 25 221 (9%); The Netherlands, 17 211 (6%); China, 9 076 (3%); Australia, 9 060 (4%); India, 8 306 (4%); Switzerland, 7 651 (3%) and Canada, 6 949 (3%). Tourists from these countries constituted 4% of all tourists from overseas countries.

Figures for these countries between October 2016 and October 2017 show that the number of tourists increased for seven of the ten (France, Canada, Germany, India, Australia, US and The Netherlands), but decreased for China, the UK and Switzerland.

France had the biggest monthly increase year-on-yearof 33% (from 19 009 tourists in October 2016 to 25 221 in October 2017). Brazil increased by 95% year-to-date, from 27 819 in 2016 to 54 219 in 2017. Central and South America together showed a 73% year-to-date increase, from 51 075 to 88 169 over the same period.

97,6% of tourists from Africa (597 424) came from the SADC countries

The ten leading SADC countries were: Zimbabwe, with 155 949 arrivals (26% of total tourists); Lesotho, 144 151 (24%); Mozambique, 109 904 (18%); Swaziland, 73 529 (12%); Botswana, 54 029 (9%); Namibia, 17 799 (4%); Malawi, 16 415 (3%); Zambia 14 558 (2%); Angola, 3 407 (0.6%) and Tanzania, 2 971 (0,5%). Tourists from these countries constituted 99% of all tourists from the SADC countries.

A comparison between movements in October 2016 and October 2017 for the ten leading SADC countries shows that the number of tourists increased for five of the ten leading countries (Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia), and decreased for Tanzania, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia and Angola. Mozambique showed the largest increase of 12% (from 97 978 tourists in October 2016 to 109 904 in October 2017).

In October 2017, the majority of tourists, 849 278 (97%) were in South Africa for a holiday, compared with 24 786 (2%) and 6 104 (1%) who were in South Africa for business and study purposes respectively. Furthermore, 37 380 (4%) of tourists were younger than 15 years; 783 513 (89%) were aged between 15 and 64; and 59 275 (7%) were 65 and older.