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April saw a 500% increase in tourism numbers. But the numbers are still far from pre-Covid levels.

Business Insider SA
More overseas tourists on the way. (Getty Images)
More overseas tourists on the way. (Getty Images)

  • Stats SA data showed an impressive recovery in tourism when compared to the same period in 2021.
  • The number of overseas tourists surged 500% to 119,518 in April 2022, up from 19,915 in 2021. 
  • There was a notable recovery in some of South Africa's largest tourism markets.
  • April's figures, however, are still far off from where they were before the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

April saw a 500% increase in tourism numbers. But it is still far from pre-Covid levels.

Stats SA data for April showed an impressive recovery in tourism when compared to the same period in 2021.

The number of overseas tourists surged 500% to 119,518 in April 2022, up from 19,915 in 2021.

The big increase in arrivals from North and South America, Europe, Australasia, and Asia follows an abating of the Covid-19 crisis around the world, and the lifting of travel restrictions.

The scale of the recovery can be seen in the number of visitors from every country from these regions rising well over 100%. In most cases, the percentage increases were substantially more.

The number of visitors from Ireland, for instance, increased from 179 to 2,098. There was a similar story with Australia, which saw its numbers increase from 255 to 4,369 for the period.

There was a notable recovery in some of South Africa's largest tourism markets, with the US rising from 3,763 to 18,324, the UK up from 2,049 to 28,299, and visitors from Germany increasing from 1,772 to 14,251.

The only country that did not show an increase was the Russian Federation, which saw the number of visitors from that country drop from 1,026 to 916.

Though the recovery is encouraging, April's figures are still far off from where they were before the Covid-19 pandemic.

This can be seen in the number of overseas visitors (Stats SA classifies overseas as all countries outside Africa) for April 2019 which was 217,131, which was far higher than the 119,518 for April 2022.

The scale of the drop off can be seen when measured against key markets. The number of tourists coming from Germany and the UK is a third of what it used to be, and there are about 9,500 fewer tourist from the US.



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