SA Tourism’s Leisure tourism performance overview for Q2 of 2016

  • Foreign Tourist Arrivals:

Overall the second quarter of 2016 was good for tourism. Foreign arrivals accounted for 2.2 million of total tourism trips and increased by 10.4% compared to Q2 2015.

The fastest growing regions were Asia and Australasia (33.1%), the Americas (20.2%), Europe (17.5%), and Africa-air markets (16.4%).

The main driver of the increased foreign volume was tourists visiting for leisure (driven in particular by VFR tourists).
Business and medical tourists saw double-digit decreases.
(Image source: SA Tourism)







Tourist arrivals have returned to positive growth with recovery from last year across all regions. In this quarter, tourist arrivals grew by 11.6% to 2.2 million. This growth is ahead of the growth of Australia but is well behind Thailand when comparing the second quarter to the same period last year.

(Image source: SA Tourism)

Driving this growth are the Asia & Australasia markets and in particular the Asian markets which have grown to record highs in this quarter over last year. This growth reflects a return to growth, not just recovery of lost ground from last year’s declines.

The Americas and Africa-air have grown past Q2 2014. Africa-land and Europe have recovered from the declines of Q2 2015 but are only slightly above Q2 2014 levels.

  • Geographic Spread:

Gauteng was the most visited province in this quarter with almost 900 000 tourist arrivals with a total of 7.8 million bednights generating an estimated R8.1 billion in revenue. On average tourists stayed 8.4 nights.

Western Cape is the 2nd most visited province with R400 000 tourist arrivals generating 3.5 million bednights and an estimated R3.5 billion in revenue:

(Image source: SA Tourism)


  • Tourism Revenue

Total foreign direct spend (excluding capital expenditure), or foreign tourism revenue has grown behind the growth in arrivals with total spend up 10.6% from the same period in 2015. Spend increased across all regions, with the exception of Africa-air markets, reaching new records highs:


(Image source: SA Tourism)

  • Domestic Tourism Performance
Domestic tourism accounted for 5.4 million of the total number of trips for the quarter, a decrease of 6.0% compared to the 5.8 million trips taken in Q2 2015. The decrease in domestic trips was largely driven by the shift in the Easter holidays; this had a substantial negative impact on trips taken with a purpose of visiting family and friends.
Despite the overall decline in trips, holiday and business trips increased by 26% and 30% respectively compared to Q2 2015. Limpopo continued to receive the most number of trips, followed by Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Of those people that didn’t take a trip in the quarter, the majority cited affordability as the main deterrent. About one in five domestic survey respondents said they didn’t have a reason to take a trip whilst a few stated time constraints as a key deterrent.

(Image source: SA Tourism)