S.A. FAST FACTS – Business and Tourism

We try an update the Fast Fact figures every year, fortunately the Global Competitiveness Report and the Economist Pocket World in Figures are published annually, but many of our other sources are not.

We invite you our readers to contribute, either to correct the figures we have, or to add others that we don’t have!
This week’s facts focus is on Business and Tourism.
Enjoy the read.



  • SA is ranked 10th out of 183 countries for good practice in protecting investors in business. (World Bank Doing Business Report 2011).
  • South Africa is placed 14th in a list of 21 countries ranked by international companies as top prospective investment destinations for 2012 to 2014, according to the 2012 World Investment Report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).
  • Employment in the mining industry grew from just under 449,000 in 2004 to a little above 530,000 in June 2012 (Business Day)
  • South Africa ranked 6th best out of 24 countries in the Contact Center World rankings for 2012, up from 9th in 2011.
  • South Africa is ranked 34th out of 183 countries for ease of doing business according to Doing Business 2011, a joint publication of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.
  • South Africa is the winner of the National Outsourcing Association’s (NOA’s) Offshoring Destination of the Year Award 2012

According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2014/15, South Africa ranks (out of 144 countries:

Arrows indicate Improvement/Deterioration/Same 2014 over 2013 NOT 2014 over 2009.


  • South Africa is ranked among the top 3 countries in the world (countries with more than 9 million tourists) in respect of tourism growth (growing at 3 times the global average) -World Tourism Council
  • Tourism numbers increased by 10.4% between January and October 2013. A total of 9,535,498 tourists arrived in the country during the period (13.5 million visitors), compared to 6,823,517 in 2011
  • SA ranks 24th in terms of visitors at 13.5 million (France 79 million, UK 28 million, Switzerland 8.5 million, India 5.2 million, Australia 6 million). (Economist)
  • South Africa is ranked 62nd overall in the latest edition of the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Competitiveness Report 2013, which surveys 140 countries on their policies to develop the travel and tourism sector. (66th in 2011).
  • The Intercontinental Hotel at O.R. Tambo International Airport was named as the winner of the prestigious 2012 World Luxury Airport Hotel award at the global tourism industry awards.
  • Cape Town was named the top tourist destination in the world in the 2013 Traveler’s Choice Destinations awards.
  • Cape Town has been voted the Favourite City Worldwide for 2013 by 17,000 Telegraph readers in the UK.
  • The Cape Grace in the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town has been named 2nd Best Hotel in the World in the 2013 Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards
  • Table Mountain was inaugurated as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2012.
  • Cape Town International is the best airport in Africa, according to the World Airport Awards 2012. O R Tambo International was 2nd and King Shaka International came 3rd. They were ranked 27th, 31st and 35th respectively in the world.
  • 41 South African beaches were awarded Blue Flags, an international indicator of high environmental standards for recreational beaches in 2013 (up from 27 in 2010).
  • South Africa’s wine tourism has been rated the best-developed in the world by International Wine Review in 2012, one of the world’s most influential opinion formers on wine
  • According to CNNGo (CNN’s Travel Website), Cape Town is the 9th most loved city in the world in 2012.
  • TripAdvisor has named Boulders Beach as one of its top 10 truly unique beaches in the world 2012.
  • National carrier South African Airways (SAA) has won the Global Traveler’s magazine “Airline of the year” award for 2012 – the highest honour awarded by the publication for global business travelers.