SOUTH AFRICA WITNESSES A SURGE IN TOURISM, ESPECIALLY FROM THE U.S., PROMPTING THE DEPLOYMENT OF 2,300 TOURISM MONITORS TO ENSURE VISITOR SAFETY DURING THE PEAK HOLIDAY SEASON.
South Africa’s tourist influx has soared in 2023, especially from the U.S., marking a 42% increase in American travelers from January to November. Despite the uptick, the country still faces a 17% shortfall compared to 2019 visitor numbers.
South Africa Tourism: U.S. Leads the Charge
South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Patricia De Lille, notes the U.S. as a top source market, with a robust 2023 growth. However, concerns over crime persist. To address safety worries, 2,300 tourism monitors will be deployed during peak holiday season, focusing on key attractions.
Inter-regional travel from Africa remains pivotal, accounting for a significant 76% increase in inbound travel. Europe contributed 15%, while North American visitors surpassed the UK. Asia’s contribution remains limited, prompting a call to address visa regulations and enhance air access.
The Tourism Safety Strategy
De Lille’s Tourism Safety Strategy, in collaboration with the police, invests $9.5 million in deploying tourism monitors. Despite a mid-December rollout target, not all provinces have them in place. Cities like Cape Town bolster safety with additional personnel, emphasizing the need to ensure the well-being of both visitors and locals.
South Africa’s tourism appeal grapples with crime and an energy crisis. Private initiatives, such as the Secura Traveller app, link tourists to essential services. A global campaign featuring Trevor Noah aims to enhance South Africa’s image. Addressing visa regulations, crime levels, and the energy crisis becomes paramount.
Securing Tourist Hotspots
Cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg implement dedicated units to monitor and secure tourist hotspots. Rosebank, a popular suburb, collaborates with tourism ambassadors to enhance safety and assist visitors during the peak summer season.