Pretoria: South Africa is participating in one of the world’s leading travel trade shows, the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB), which is currently underway in Berlin, Germany.
Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk is representing the country, where he will share the South African tourism industry success story with other participants in the trade show.
As South Africa celebrates 20 years of freedom this year, Minister Van Schalkwyk thanked the trade show and media for their on-going support and contribution to the continued good growth in arrivals from this all important market.
“Since 1994, German arrivals to South Africa have grown from a total of 105 000 to over 266 000 tourists in 2012, representing a growth of 153% in less than 20 years.
“Importantly in 2012, we recorded more German tourists to South Africa than ever before,” said the minister, adding that Germany remained a very important market in terms of overseas arrivals.
2012’s figure of 266 333 represents a 13% growth on the 2011 numbers. This number will be exceeded by some margin in 2013 given that from January to October 2013, arrival numbers were 14.8% higher than they were for the same period in 2012 (234 531 in 2013 up from 204 247 in 2012).
This also far exceeds the 6.2% average growth for Europe.
“Germany is our third largest source of overseas tourists. It’s been an incredible journey in which South Africa has emerged from a wildlife destination, serving primarily a domestic market, to one of the most visible, exciting, culturally diverse and varied global tourist destinations in the world today,” said Minister Van Schalkwyk.
In total, nearly 50 companies are represented on the South African Tourism stand at this year’s ITB event.
“A strong South African contingent is also great news in a year where the world’s media will certainly be looking at South Africa with some interest, given that on 27 April 2014, we mark 20 years of living in a free and democratic country.
“The strong South African support at ITB 2014 is indicative of the confidence that the South African tourism industry has in the German market at the moment,” the minister said.
In the German market, South Africa is increasingly setting itself apart as a country that offers value for money and whose people make it a truly remarkable destination.
ITB 2014 will wrap on Sunday, 9 March.
SOURCE: South African Official News