South Africa Minister of Tourism Credits Lifestyle for Tourism Growth
South Africa Minister of Tourism Marthinus Van Schalkwyk told attendees at a private event at a Soho gallery in New York City that the growing awareness by Americans of the lifestyle of South Africa has spurred tourism growth. The minister pointed to a steady increase in visitors to South Africa and attributed it to the message that is getting out about South Africa’s art and design, music, cuisine and wine.
South Africa’s tourism arrival numbers have continued to grow beyond those of 2010, the year of the FIFA World Cup. In 2012, the arrival numbers have increased by 19.2 percent since the beginning of the year. The South African government is investing in lifestyle tourism in hopes of driving visitor numbers to its goals of 15 million worldwide visitors, accounting for $75 billion a year, and creating 225,000 new jobs by 2020.
“South Africa’s diverse spectrum of lifestyle experiences will be the future of tourism growth and a major focus in our international marketing efforts,” said Van Schalkwyk. “Our destination is already enjoying strong arrival numbers from the U.S. and Canada, proof that South Africa possesses endless appeal to travelers of all ages and persuasions.”
“Positivity about our destination and awareness is at an all-time high,” said Sthu Zungu, president of South African Tourism North America. “People are turning on the TV, reading influential lifestyle magazines and realizing how compelling South Africa is as a leisure and business destination with its unmatched experiences. Consumer interest is turning into conversions like never before -- we’ve just scratched the surface.”
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