South Africa’s Tourism Performance: International & Domestic Q1 2023

South Africa showcased its resilience and potential by experiencing a remarkable increase in tourist arrivals, boasting a 141.9% growth and reaching 5.7 million arrivals compared to the same period in 2021. As the country continues to rebound, it demonstrates promise for future success. While North African countries are leading the recovery due to their short haul destinations, open skies, and easy air access, South Africa’s progress is commendable.

Additionally, within the Sub-Saharan Africa region, Ghana, Kenya, and Mauritius have emerged as top performers, with South Africa poised to further strengthen its position in the tourism sector.

The African continent contributed the highest share of arrivals which amounted to 1,6 million, an increase of 99,3% compared to the same period in 2022. Out of the 1,6 million arrivals – 1,5 million came from African Land markets. Europe was the second biggest contributor of arrivals with 0,4 million.

Total Foreign Direct Spend (TFDS) reached R25,3 billion, an increase of 143,9% over Q1 2022 and 0,9% below the levels of 2019. Interestingly, tourists from Europe contributed the most spend of R10,8 billion, followed by Africa with a collective spend of R9,3 billion.

Zimbabwe has consistently been the top source market for South Africa from 2019 to date. From the overseas source markets, the UK led with 118 479 arrivals, followed by Germany with 83 201 arrivals.

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