TOURISM: German Tourist Arrival Figures Up 9.9%
Recent Western Cape Business News
The Minister of Tourism, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, expressed his delight with the recent release of the November 2011 arrival statistics which shows an increase of 9.9% of German tourists to South Africa. ‘Germany is the third-biggest overseas tourism market for South Africa and contributes to 9% of GDP through tourist spend. From January to November 2011, our arrivals from Germany were up by 9.9%, reaching 211 000 German tourists. Statistics also shows that a total of 40% of German tourists to South Africa are repeat visitors. This is very high and it testifies to the attractiveness of our destination” Minister van Schalkwyk said.
A brief summary of the arrival statistics from the German source market shows that between January to December 2009, German tourists visiting South Africa stood at 196,643. Between January to December 2010 the arrival figures grew to 215,800 and the growth percentage stood at 9.7%. Between January to November 2011 the arrival figures again showed positive growth of 9.9% thus far.
The Minister of Tourism was speaking at the ITB Travel Trade Show this week in Berlin to market our destination to the German market. ITB is one of the World’s leading Travel Trade Shows with more than 170,000 visitors, among these 108,000 trade visitors, and over 10,000 exhibitors from 180 countries.
The Minister, speaking at ITB stated that despite the uncertain economic situation in Europe and around the world, the outlook for the world’s travel industry remains good. ‘The global growth was not that strong as in 2010 but tourist arrivals still grew to a staggering 980 million in 2011. The German outbound market is one of the most valuable in the world.’
Long-haul destinations have become much more attractive to German travellers in recent years. Improved transportation links have made international destinations more accessible alongside more competitive airfares and frequency of flights. Direct airlift capacity with South African Airways and Lufthansa is stable at 475 000 seats per year. Indirect airlift capacity has increased by 10% in 2011 (Emirates, British Airways, Ethiopian and Turkish airlines). SA Tourism’s research has shown that there is still a large opportunity in this market and we have to do more to create demand among the younger travellers that are considering South Africa. Travellers from Germany are increasingly price sensitive when choosing a destination and are looking for meaningful experiences in holidays. They are also keen to engage in activities that not only interest them but that leaves a positive legacy for the communities, wildlife and people with whom they interact. South Africa will continue to work closely with both German and South African tourism trade to ensure that variety, value for money and life changing experiences remain accessible to the German traveller.
The Minister of Tourism further said ‘We will continue to work hard on maintaininggrowth from Germany. The three primary reasons that we attend ITB is to firm up our Joint Marketing Agreements (JMA), meet with trade partners to find out how we can make South Africa even easier to sell in this market and to keep our tourism industry robust, profitable and contributing to the ongoing economic prosperity of our nation.’ SAT has to date, signed 17 Joint Marketing Agreements in this market with all the top tour operators and trained 2 100 trade operators to push deals into the market.
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