UP to affirm South Africa as a top tourist destination

Posted on November 05, 2013

The 10.2% growth in international tourist visitors to South Africa in 2012 far surpassed the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) estimated growth rate of 4%. The Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, suggests, “The South African tourism sector is well on its way to achieving its goal of becoming one of the top 20 destinations in the world by 2020, as set out in the National Tourism Sector Strategy and the Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy (NTSS).”

An important measure in determining how South Africa is moving towards this goal is to continually assess its competitiveness as a tourist destination, using appropriate indicators. Currently, South Africa is measured by the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Index. There are, however, a number of limitations in capturing the tourism uniqueness of a country as it is a broad economic measure and does not adequately reflect the tourism sector. Because of this limitation, UP’s Tourism Management Division has been tasked to develop relevant indicators and formulate “A Model to Measure South Africa’s Tourism Competitiveness”. This 18-month project is already well underway. One of the highlights in the project is having the most-recognised academic in the field of tourism competitiveness visit the Division and provide valuable input into the project.

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