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Zimbabwe reclaims spot as SA’s largest tourism market

by SAVIOUS KWINIKA 
JOHANNESBURG – ZIMBABWE has regained its position as South Africa’s largest tourism market in the continent.

It has knocked Mozambique off the perch after the fellow Southern African country had assumed top spot in 2021.

This restores the status quo as prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zimbabwe occupied that position.

Not that South Africa would mind Mozambique and Zimbabwe battling for top spot, as it records an increase of over 100 percent in arrivals over the past year!

According to Statistics South Africa, 88 831 tourists from Zimbabwe entered South Africa in May, up from 33 343 the same period last year.

Some 66 391 Mozambican tourists visited South Africa in May this year, an increase from 46 653 from May 2021.

Lesotho is South Africa’s third largest arrivals market with 62 830 and 32 702 during the two periods respectively.

The rest of the top ten markets for South Africa comprise Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Angola and Tanzania, in that order.

Outside the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional bloc, the largest markets for South Africa are Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Egypt, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Gabon, Ivory Coast and Congo.

South Africa Tourism corroborated the developments while confirming a 122 percent year-on-year increase in arrivals.

It noted during the month of May, South Africa received 407 262 international visitors, bringing the year-to-date arrivals to 1,9 million.

The United States (now first), United Kingdom and Germany have remained the top three overseas markets and the only non-African markets in the top ten arrivals markets.

Themba Khumalo, the SA Tourism Acting Chief Executive Officer, said in the latter part of 2021, the world started to open up a little more, hence the increase in arrivals.

“As things stand, arrivals in 2022 have more than doubled from the same period in 2021 and the outlook is positive for the rest of the year,” Khumalo said.

According to Forward Keys, global arrivals in 2022, based on the forward bookings are expected to grow 87 percent from 2021.

– CAJ News

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