Official statistics show that tourists continue to flock to South Africa three years on from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
According to the tourism branch of the South African government, tourism in the country has continued to grow following the FIFA World Cup in 2010. In the first quarter of 2013 alone, there has been an 8.6% increase in total tourist arrivals to the country. This is an increase that can be compared with year-on-year tourism uplift since 2010.
The FIFA World Cup itself attracted over 300,000 visitors to the country, 60% of which were first time visitors to South Africa. What is also notable is that 90% of tourists who attended the World Cup said that they would seriously consider travelling to South Africa again. One of the main impacts of the FIFA World Cup was raising the profile of the country as a tourist destination, which has certainly been achieved as demonstrated by the continuing growth of the South African tourist industry.
It is also something that has been experienced first hand by James Rosen, a cofounder of South African travel agency, TravelNation.co.za. As a UK citizen, James booked a flight to South Africa for 10 days to experience the World Cup. He ended up staying in the country for 3 years.
“As now part-owner of Travel Nation, I found the country to be one of the most amazing places.”
“After years of hearing quite negative things about South Africa in terms of crime etc, I visited 'apprehensively' due to my obsession with football for the World Cup in 2010. I booked for 10 days, I stayed for 3 years.”
Cape Town continues to be the must-visit destination for tourists visiting the country. In 2010, the Western Cape was one of the most visited regions and received over 100,000 over the world cup period. In 2012, there were 9.2 million visitors to South Africa, of which two thirds visited the Western Cape.
James Rosen went on to say: “Cape Town sold itself to me in a matter of minutes. The city has a calmness and some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen, which can only be described as mesmeric. I was keen to join with South African locals to promote tourism within the country.”
“Its no surprise that its top of many peoples’ wish lists to visit. I have no doubt this is due to the increase in exposure and tourism since the World Cup in 2010. I feel blessed to have been given the chance to visit Cape Town, let alone live there for 3 years of my life.”
As the global population becomes more aware of South Africa as a tourist destination, the tourist industry in South Africa will continue to grow.
“South Africa is a wonderful place to visit. There is an abundance of activities to do - but it terms of wildlife and nature there is nowhere better.”
“The rise in South African tourism certainly didn't and doesn't come as a shock to me. It is a country that you can look out at all the wonders of the world. You look left and you can see nature and greenery. Look right you see industry and look ahead; you see the beach and the sea. There are not many places in the world where you can do that.”
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