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US replaces UK to become South Africa’s top overseas tourism market in 2021, ET TravelWorld News, ET TravelWorld


US replaces UK to become South Africa’s top overseas tourism market in 2021
The US became South Africa’s number one for the first time in terms of overseas tourism markets in 2021, replacing UK, which had been the number one market since 1994, South African Tourism has said.

The US topped the tourist revenue among the overseas markets in 2021, with ZAR 2.3 billion South African (about USD 143.8 million), and the average tourist spending of ZAR 31,100 was higher than pre-pandemic levels of ZAR 22,900 in 2019, the government’s tourism marketing arm said in a statement.

The increase was driven by leisure tourism activities and shopping, which increased by 17 per cent and 22 per cent respectively, it said.

South Africa hosts Africa’s flagship TravelMart, Indaba, after a three-year hiatus with large participation from across the continent. Around 634 sellers from African countries and 625 international travel buyers are participating in Indaba 2022 which has started at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. Around 22,000 scheduled buyer-seller meetings are expected at the three-day event.

The US also led the growth in arrivals in 2021, with a total of 82,020 arrivals, a 14 per cent increase comparing to 2020, according to the agency. However, the total number of arrivals is still much lower than pre-pandemic level, as 373,694 people from the US visited South Africa in 2019, only behind UK’s 436,559.

Statistics showed that in 2021, as it was in 2019, eating out, shopping, wildlife viewing, natural attractions, and socialising were among the top 5 activities that attracted US tourists. First-time visitors from US increased to 70.1 per cent in 2021, read the statement.





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