African tourism sector bucks international travel trends with increased travel statistics

Africa has bucked global trends by being the only world region to have international tourist arrivals increase by 4%, during the first eight months of 2009.  According to The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, Africa is the only world region which held its own and recorded growth during the recent economic crisis. 

On the local front, Statistics South Africa released encouraging figures for the month of August, 2009, reporting that South Africa’s international arrivals were up 6.5% from the same month last year.  Contributors to the positive statistics included increases in visitors coming from Italy, (17.8% up) and India with increased arrival figures of 14.4%

“Tourism around the world has taken a big hit because of the recession and, whilst our local industry has not escaped without injury, we have pushed through and numbers are gradually rising”, comments Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism. “It is important to respond to new markets and trends in these times and apply an innovative approach to marketing with the emphasis on the customer’s unique needs and changing travel patterns.”

During August this year, Statistics South Africa found steady increases in visitors to South Africa from European countries (30 000 from the United Kingdom, nearly 15 000 from Germany and 10 000 from France and the Netherlands).  Overall 27 574 visitors arrived in Cape Town during August 2009. There was a decline in visitors from America, Canada and Australia but American media and online interest in Cape Town accounts for ever-increasing shares of international coverage and traffic.

“Curiosity about South Africa, specifically Cape Town, has piqued because we are hosting the FIFA Final Draw on 4 December and of course because of the 2010 FIFA World Cup”, comments Du Toit-Helmbold. A spike in interest and 2010 FIFA World Cup bookings is expected after the FIFA Final Draw match fixtures are announced.

ENDS

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Released for Cape Town Tourism by

Rabbit in a Hat Communications
Contact: Sascha Polkey
sascha@rabbitinahat.co.za
+27 21 447 3198
+27 83 414 0552

Cape Town Tourism

CEO
Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold
mariette@capetown.travel
+27 21 487 6800
+27 83 225 5955

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