While official figures have not yet been released, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has projected that South Africa’s tourism industry will have contributed R145.3 billion (€9bn) to the country’s GDP last year – up from the R139 billion (€8.6bn) recorded in 2018.

Since the country's tourism sector has shown consistent growth, the sector poses a very lucrative investment opportunity, according to the WTTC.

“The good thing about this sector is that it can accommodate anyone, regardless of the amount of money they are willing to invest,” the Council said in a recent statement.

This sentiment is echoed by various government leaders, with President Cyril Ramaphosa reiterating recently that tourism has been identified as the second-highest growth and investment priority as part of South Africa’s overall economic growth plan.

Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela, told Tourism Update in a recent  exclusive interview, that SA Tourism, along with the National Department of Tourism, had prioritised working with business and tourism associations in key global tourism source markets to not only grow tourism numbers from those countries but showcase South Africa as a key tourism investment destination.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, told journalists on the side lines of last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, that South Africa would attract more investment overall if it invested in tourism.

'We must increase our investment in tourism communication and infrastructure,” she said. "A number [of people] commented on our infrastructure as being a positive to attracting business. We must improve and maintain this in order to remain attractive.”