Statistics SA’s latest tourism and migration report, reflecting arrivals for June, reveals that South Africa saw 3 355 904 travellers pass through ports of entry/exit.

Foreign arrivals increased by 0.3% year-on-year to more than 1.16 million in June, but were down 4.1% from May.

In June 2019, the distribution of overseas arrivals was as follows: Europe, 63 589 (41.2%); North America, 40 205 (26.0%); Asia, 27 928 (18.1%); Australasia, 10 292 (6.7%); Central and South America, 7 970 (5.2%); and the Middle East, 4 377 (2.8%).

The ten leading overseas countries in terms of the number of travellers visiting South Africa in June 2019 were:

  1. United States, 36 490 (23.6%)
  2. United Kingdom, 19 711 (12.8%)
  3. Germany, 9 748 (6.3%)
  4. India, 9 315 (6.0%)
  5. Australia, 9 064 (5.9%)
  6. China, 6 721 (4.4%)
  7. France, 6 519 (4.2%)
  8. Brazil, 5 645 (3.7%)
  9. The Netherlands, 4 859 (3.1%)
  10. Canada, 3 715 (2.4%)

These ten countries constituted 72.4% of all travellers from overseas countries.

A comparison of movements in the ten leading countries between June 2018 and June 2019 shows that the number of travellers increased for seven of the ten leading countries: India, Brazil, Canada, Germany, China, Australia and the UK. India had the largest increase of 14.7% (from 8 119 travellers in June 2018 to 9 315 in June 2019. France, on the other hand, had the largest decrease of 4.6% (from 6 833 travellers in June 2018 to 6 519 tourists in June 2019).

In June, 712 168, or 97%, were in South Africa for holiday, compared with 2.5% who came for business, 0.5% for study and 0.1% who were in the country for medical treatment.

For overseas countries, the number of travellers to South Africa is generally highest in quarter one (January to March) and quarter four (October to December). Quarter two (April to June) is characterised by a large decrease in the number of travellers, reaching its lowest in June, followed by a gradual increase into quarter three.

According to the World Tourism Organisation, the May to August period includes the peak tourism season in most of the world’s major tourism destinations and source markets, which explains the significant reduction in number of tourists to South Africa during this period.