SAT confident of Australia boom

SAT confident of Australia boom
By admin

The head of South African Tourism has shrugged off concerns over a 4.1% dip in Aussie arrivals last year on the back of “massive” arrivals during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The latest arrivals figures show a total of 103,506 Australians visited South Africa in 2011. Down from 107,905 Aussie arrivals in 2010, the figures represent a 4.1% decline on the previous year. New Zealand visitor numbers also dipped 4.8% from 19,801 to 18,859 over the same period.

At an intimate media briefing over the weekend, South African Tourism chief executive Thulani Nzima said the results were hardly surprising on the back of record arrivals during the FIFA World Cup.

With visitor numbers topping 310,000 during the event, Nzima said a drop in visitor numbers was “inevitable” in 2011. Australia was no exception, he added, noting that Aussie visitor numbers increased 26.3% in 2010.

“Considering the number of visitors that came to South Africa for the World Cup, a 4% dip is hardly discouraging. If anything, it is a testament to the positive affect the tournament had on arrivals from this market,” he said.

With early figures for January 2012 showing 11% growth in arrivals, Nzima said continued growth for Australian travelers was on the cards.

“The continued strength of the Aussie dollar, as well as a longer annual leave situation bode well for continued growth from this market going forward,” he said.

Nzima also touched on South Africa’s efforts to draw visitors from India and Asia as it looks to capitalize on “key emerging markets”.

“We have seen significant growth in both markets but we are just scratching the surface of China’s full potential. Brace yourself, we may achieve another miracle going forward,” he concluded.

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