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S. African tourism grows 136% in April

By Ndumiso Mlilo in Johannesburg in South Africa | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-07-04 17:24

South Africa's total travelers for April increased by 136 percent compared to April last year, according to Statistics South Africa.

Arrivals, departures, and transits for April reached nearly 1.7 million. Most travelers came from Europe and North America, accounting for more than 85 percent of the total, followed by Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Central and South America, Statistician General Risenga Maluleke said.

South African Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu welcomed the increase in tourists, saying they are in the process of removing hindrances to travel.

"While more has to be done, our efforts to remove constraints to travel and tourism and regain confidence in travel are bearing fruit. It is important for us to intensify our efforts in promoting our beautiful country on global platforms again, as we have had limited opportunities to do so in the last two years. Our tourism recovery depends on this and working collaboratively to show the full might of our tourism potential," Sisulu said.

South Africa has removed travel restrictions which the country put in place to tackle COVID-19, which has resulted in some economic activity. COVID-19 cases have declined, with less than 500 new cases per day down from a daily peak of over 24,000.

South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry economist Richard Downing said the wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants (as a sector) declined by 12.4 percent in 2020 and bounced back 6 percent last year. He said the wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants grew by 6 percent in the first quarter of this year when compared to the same period last year.

South Africa has removed requirements on the wearing of masks, PCR tests at the ports of entry and has trained tourism operators on COVID-19 protocols.

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