This year, South Africa celebrates 25 years of democracy, a milestone for the country and the foundation of a booming tourism industry. In 1993, 3.4 million tourists travelled to South Africa, contributing 4.6% to the national economy. The number of international arrivals has quadrupled since then and now stands at 10.6 million.
South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, explains that the nation’s tourism offering has evolved considerably since democracy was installed: “If the entire value chain is taken into account, the total contribution of the travel industry amounts to 8.9% of the gross domestic product. In 2017, tourism directly and indirectly supported around 1.5 million jobs, 9.5% of total employment. By 2028, the number is expected to grow to 2.1 million jobs”.