USA visitors to South Africa soar

USA visitors to South Africa soar

South African Tourism has released the USA visitor arrivals to South Africa for the summer months of May through August 2010. 

US tourist arrivals increased 16.2%, 98.9%, 9.7% and 35.2% for the four months of May, June, July and August, respectively.  June, in particular, saw the number of tourist arrivals double, to twice the normal level in any given year.  The healthy August arrivals also indicate that South Africa’s traditional consumers were waiting to visit until after the World Cup - a very positive trend which bodes well for the destination through the rest of the year.

These positive increases bring South Africa’s year-to-date arrivals through August 2010 to 193,317, a growth of 26% over this same period in 2009. The United States was the largest purchaser of tickets to the World Cup after the host nation, South Africa.

“These numbers confirm what we believed all along – that tourism would be one of the key beneficiaries of the successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™,” said Sthu Zungu, President, South African Tourism, North America. “We have gained thousands of new friends, who will be the best advocates for our country.  Millions more were introduced to our amazing destination via the extensive television coverage, and are now excited about visiting South Africa.”

Global arrivals to South Africa surpassed expectations. Overseas arrivals, (excluding those from continental Africa), increased by 118% in June, 17% in July and 18% in August.  Overall, global arrivals for the period January through August 2010 totalled 5,286,003, representing an increase of 17.4%, for an additional 782,000 visitors to South Africa over the same period last year.  The destination is well on its way to meeting its target of 10 million visitor arrivals for 2010.