South Africa upbeat as World Cup effect fades

South Africa upbeat as World Cup effect fades
By admin

South African Tourism (SAT) has insisted visitor numbers to the destination are tracking well in the two years since 2010’s FIFA World Cup, despite 2011 growth falling below the global average.

The year saw the destination attract 3.5% growth in international arrivals, which the tourism body claimed held up well against the global average of 4.4%.

Chief executive Thulani Nzima said the destination would have finished up 7.4% up on the previous year, well above the global average, if the World Cup had not inflated 2010 figures.

“At a time of global economic uncertainty, to grow tourism by 3.5% shows our resilience,” he said.

He added South Africa had been successful in countering a 3% downturn from Europe thanks to booming figures from emerging Asian markets and a growing focus on domestic and regional tourism.

Meanwhile, Nzima claimed concerns about safety when travelling to South Africa were becoming a thing of the past.

No incidents were reported during the World Cup or last year’s 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, he added.

However, he said the clamp down on crime had gone largely unreported by international media.

Word of mouth was the country’s most powerful tool in dispersing the negative perception, he added, with social media set to play an increasingly pivotal role.

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