13th June 2024

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2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index: South Africa ranks tops in Africa

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Index proves South Africa’s tourism is set solid on the growth and recovery path

Nomazulu Moyo

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – South Africa’s tourism sector is making significant strides towards recovery and growth amid the Department of Tourism’s announcement that the country had secured the first position in the African region in the 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI).

The TTDI is a result of an assessment by the World Economic Forum.

The TTDI, now in its second edition, evaluates 119 economies worldwide based on factors and policies that contribute to sustainable and resilient development in the travel and tourism sector. South Africa’s impressive ranking reflects its commitment to elevating the significance of tourism within the country.

Key Highlights:

  • Leading the African Continent: South Africa emerged as the leading country in the African rankings, securing the 55th position globally out of 119 countries.
  • Largest Travel and Tourism Economy in Africa: The TTDI findings highlight that South Africa boasts the largest travel and tourism economy on the continent.
  • Robust Growth and Partnerships: Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille, expressed her satisfaction with the ranking. “We are extremely pleased with this recognition,” she said. “Our robust growth over the past year is a result of closer partnerships and collaborations with the private sector.”

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  • Improvements in Key Areas: South Africa moved up seven places compared to its previous ranking. Notably, it scored high in price competitiveness, ICT readiness, natural resources, and socio-economic impact related to travel and tourism.
  • Mission to Grow Further: Minister de Lille emphasized the mission to exponentially increase arrival numbers and overall tourism sector performance. “Our greatest asset is our people,” she added, emphasising the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors.
  • Impressive Arrival Numbers: In 2023, South Africa welcomed nearly 8.5 million international visitors, with 6.4 million coming from the African continent—an impressive 48.9% increase compared to 2022 arrivals. During the first quarter of 2024 (January to March), South Africa received 2.4 million visitors from the rest of the world, representing a notable 15.4% increase from the same period in 2023.
  • About the TTDI: The TTDI serves as a crucial benchmarking tool, informing policy and investment decisions. It assesses factors such as the business environment, safety and security, health and hygiene, prioritization of travel and tourism, openness, price competitiveness, infrastructure, and tourism resources.

South Africa’s tourism sector continues to play a vital role in the country’s GDP and job creation efforts. As the nation works towards sustainable growth, collaboration remains key to ensuring prosperity for both people and the planet.

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