In June 2023, South Africa witnessed a significant influx of travellers, reflecting a promising revival in the tourism sector as the country continues to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest data from the ports of entry/exit reveals that a total of 2,311,573 travellers passed through, with a notable composition of both domestic and foreign visitors. This surge in arrivals, departures, and transits indicates positive signs for the nation’s economy and highlights the growing interest in the country’s diverse offerings in the technology, shopping, financial services, credit, lending, personal finance, motor vehicles, insurances, and banking sectors.
The report indicates that South African residents constituted 701,989 of the total travellers in June 2023. This figure points to a rising domestic travel trend as citizens explore their own country’s attractions, supported by improved economic conditions and a desire to embrace local tourism.
The majority of the travellers, numbering 1,609,584, were foreign visitors, reflecting a thriving interest in South Africa as a tourist destination. Of these foreign arrivals, 851,647 were further categorized into 26,054 non-visitors and 825,593 visitors.
Foreign Visitor Categories:
The 26,054 non-visitors were likely transiting through the country’s ports, making use of South Africa’s well-connected transportation network and strategic geographic location for international travel.
On the other hand, the 825,593 visitors can be further broken down into two key segments: same-day visitors and overnight visitors, commonly referred to as tourists.
The data shows that 217,274 travellers visited South Africa for the day, which suggests a burgeoning trend of business travel or short excursions. This category of visitors tends to spend limited time in the country but may contribute to local economies through business transactions and shopping activities.
Overnight Visitors (Tourists):
The majority of foreign visitors, totaling 608,319, chose to spend more time exploring South Africa, cementing their status as tourists. This figure indicates a promising growth in the tourism sector, which remains a significant contributor to the country’s economy.
Regional Composition of Tourists:
The breakdown of the 608,319 overnight visitors (tourists) reveals their origin by region:
Overseas Tourists: 123,069 visitors traveled from overseas countries, showing a continued interest from international travellers beyond Africa’s borders.
SADC Countries: The Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries contributed 475,358 tourists, indicating the strong appeal of South Africa as a regional hub for leisure, shopping, and financial activities.
Other African Countries: A notable figure of 8,948 tourists visited from ‘other’ African countries, highlighting South Africa’s standing as a gateway for African tourism and business interactions.
Unspecified Residency: For 944 tourists, their country of residence remained unspecified, suggesting the need for further data clarity.
The impressive numbers of travellers passing through South Africa’s ports of entry/exit in June 2023 reflect a promising revival in the tourism sector. The country’s diverse attractions, coupled with its technological advancements, shopping options, and robust financial services, have positioned it as an alluring destination for both domestic and foreign visitors. As the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, the tourism industry’s resurgence serves as a positive indicator for the various sectors such as credit, lending, personal finance, motor vehicles, insurances, and banking. With ongoing efforts to ensure safety, convenience, and exceptional experiences for travellers, South Africa is poised to remain a top choice for tourists and investors alike.