25 Sep 2019
by Phindi Maduna
Brand South Africa
Global tourism is becoming increasingly competitive. Governments are beginning to understand this more so than ever before. The WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2019, comparing 140 countries, describes global tourism as being at a “tipping point” with ‘demand’ being outpaced by the ‘delivery’ of tourism infrastructure in many countries. “Sub-Saharan Africa outpaces the global average for growth in tourism receipts and arrivals, with the island nation of Mauritius (54/140) outscoring last year’s top performer South Africa (61/140) to rank as top scorer in the region, from a competitiveness perspective.”
In particular the nature of the tourism market is changing and the Middle East, China and Indian markets grow
Currently SA has 10 285 000 tourists per annum (World Bank) ahead of Australia 8 815 000, New Zealand 3 555 000 and Switzerland 9 889 000, which places SA 36th in terms of countries most visited, France is the most visited country at +/-86 million tourists per annum
In recent times, SA has not enjoyed favourable media exposure with both political, business and security negative reports. Visiting potential markets is a key activity to allay potential traveller concerns.(Intro by Steuart Pennington)
Visit to Qatar
South Africa remains one of the world’s top tourism destinations owing to its diverse offering, world class infrastructure and positive global reputation, and remains in the top 10 fastest growing tourism destinations globally. The country’s unique offering is that it boasts a range of exciting experiences including active outdoor adventure, wildlife safari, city lifestyle, scenic outdoors, cultural and heritage sites and beaches. This contributes to the global attractiveness of the tourism sector which creates important opportunities for economic growth and job creation in the country.
As part of the Tourism Month 2019 awareness programmes, on 19 September 2019, Brand South Africa joined the South African Embassy in Qatar, South African Tourism and Qatar Airways at the South African Tourism Trade Workshop in Doha, Qatar, to unpack ways in which the Qatar tourism trade can contribute to the growth, development and continued success of the South African tourism sector.
Speaking at the workshop, South African Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency Faizel Moosa said “Tourism is one of the key drivers of the economy and it can increase the gross domestic product significantly.”
“Tourism is a big contributor to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product. Every tourist that visits South Africa, sustains twelve jobs” added Sadiq Dindar, Manager: Middle East and Turkey, South African Tourism.
The success of the tourism sector depends on the positioning of the Nation Brand as a globally competitive destination that is welcoming and culturally diverse. One of the ways that the country can ensure this, is by enhancing the ease of access for international partners seeking to visit South Africa. In light of this, in August 2019, South Africa announced that Qatar passport holders were visa exempted and could stay in the country for up to 30 days. Likewise, Qatar relaxed its immigration laws and South Africa became one of 80 visa free countries. This facilitation of easier travel will enhance cooperation and trade between South Africa and Qatar.
In conclusion, Jimmy Ranamane, Programme Manager: Global Markets at Brand South Africa said “Connecting with global markets and diversifying the country’s global collaborations creates opportunities to showcase the country to a wider range of strategic potential investors and tourists.”