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WTTC revealed why South Africa is the largest tourism economy on the continent

Tourism in South Africa contributed 1.5 million jobs and ZAR425.8 billion to the economy in 2018, making it the largest tourism economy in Africa, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual review of the economic impact and social importance of the sector released today.

WTTC, has compared the Travel & Tourism sector across 185 countries. The 2018 research shows that the South Africa Travel & Tourism sector:

  • Contributed ZAR425.8 billion to the country’s economy – the largest of any country in Africa. This represents 8.6% of all economic activity in South Africa
  • Generated 1.5 million jobs, or 9.2% of total employment
  • Was primarily driven by leisure travelers: 64% of the travel economy was generated by leisure visitors and 36% from business travelers
  • Is roughly balanced between international and domestic travel: 44% of the tourism spend came from international travelers and 56% from domestic travel

Commenting on the numbers, Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO said: “Travel & Tourism contributes more to the South Africa economy than in any other African country. In total our sector contributes ZAR425.8 billion and 1.5 million jobs which makes it a formidable part of the economy.

“South Africa has long grasped the potential of Travel & Tourism to drive economic growth, create jobs and promote social development and I would like to acknowledge the leadership of Minister of Tourism, H.E. Derek Hanekom. That is why we welcome President Ramaphosa’s ambition to double the number of people directly employed in T&T in South Africa. 

“Looking to the future, I believe that Travel & Tourism is South Africa’s greatest resource and the country’s strategy for expansion which priorities regional integration, environment sustainability and putting the community at the heart of decisions will make for a successful combination.”

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