Tourism in South Africa

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South Africa is a popular tourist destination, with some 14 million arrivals registered in 2013. [1]

Revenue adding up to between 1% and 3% of GDP is generated by the tourism industry.[2] Among the main attractions are the diverse and picturesque culture, the game reserves and the highly regarded wines.

Types of Tourism in South Africa[edit]

Product Types[edit]

From a product point of view, a number of generally accepted sub-sectors exist in the tourism industry, namely:

  • Hospitality / Accommodation
  • Food & Beverage,
  • Attractions,
  • Transportation,
  • Meetings, Exhibitions, and Special Events (MESE) (also referred to as MICE in some countries) and
  • Tourism Services.[3]

Consumer market types[edit]

South Africa offers many different types of experiences for the tourist. These include the traditional "bush and beach" type holidays as well as those of great cultural and historic importance.


South Africa is the third most biodiverse country in the world.

It is difficult to know if there is regulation of the term 'ecotourism' as well as what a foundation/association/company needs to do to fall into the category of 'eco-travel'. However, there is a non-profit association that represents the private sector of the "incoming tourism industry in South Africa" (which is a large group) called the South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), they are "dedicated to providing and maintaining the highest possible standards in the tourism industry within South Africa." (SATSA, 2007) SATSA is focused on the accountability, integrity, and quality control of the tourism industry in South Africa as well as with the companies and associations they are connected to. In addition to SATSA, the website partnered with The Metro, World Travel Market and Travel Trade Gazette Magazine have established the World Responsible Tourism Awards. The goal of the award is to "recognize individuals, companies and organizations in the travel industry that are making a significant commitment to the culture and economies of local communities and are providing a positive contribution to biodiversity conservation." (, 2001)

Tourist attractions in South Africa[edit]

National Parks[edit]

Further information: Protected areas of South Africa

In addition to the well known Kruger National Park, South Africa has a large number of other National Parks to visit.

World Heritage Sites[edit]

South Africa boasts a range of cultural, historical, archaeological and geological sites that are protected under the UNESCO World Heritage Site project.

Cultural and Historical sites[edit]

Major events[edit]





International arrivals by region of origin
Region 2007 2008 2009 2010[4] 2011
Overseas 2 216 99
Europe 1 331 539
North America 337 650
Central and South America 120 329
Australasia 128 149
Middle East 39 364
Asia 25 996
Africa 5 741 177
SADC 5 564 174
Other Africa 177 00
East and Central Africa 80 56
West Africa 80 27
North Africa 16 157
Unspecified 115 381
Total 8 073 55
Number of tourists coming to South Africa by month and year of arrival, 2009 and 2010[5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Media Release 20 May 2014" (PDF). 
  2. ^ "SA Economic Research - Tourism Update" (PDF). Investec. October 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  3. ^ Wikitourism
  4. ^ "Tourism, 2010" (PDF). Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Tourism, 2010" (PDF). Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 

External links[edit]