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    South Africa Tops Africa in WEF's Tourism Index

    South Africa has ranked highest in the African region in the 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the country’s Department of Tourism said in a statement issued on Thursday.

    South Africa was ranked 55th among 119 countries and emerged as the leading country in the rankings for the African continent in the second edition of the index released earlier this week by the WEF.

    The 2024 TTDI, which covers 119 economies and measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable and resilient development of the travel and tourism sector, also revealed that South Africa is home to the largest travel and tourism economy in Africa.

    “We are extremely pleased with this ranking as it affirms our commitment and work to elevate the significance and contribution of the tourism sector in South Africa,” said South African Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille, as quoted in the statement.

    In the 2024 index, South Africa moved up seven places compared to its previous ranking and scored high for price competitiveness, information and communication technology readiness, natural resources, and travel and tourism socio-economic impact.

    “The tourism sector has achieved robust growth over the past year, and this is due to closer partnerships and collaborations with the private sector to grow tourism to its full potential,” said the statement.

    According to the statement, in 2023, South Africa welcomed close to 8.5 million international visitors, of which 6.4 million were from the African continent, representing a significant increase of 48.9 percent compared to 2022 arrivals.

    During the first quarter of 2024, South Africa received 2.4 million visitors from the rest of the world, a notable 15.4 percent increase compared with the same period in 2023.

    “We are delighted by the growth, and our mission remains to exponentially grow arrival numbers and the overall performance of the tourism sector. The sector already makes a significant contribution to South Africa’s gross domestic product and job creation efforts, but there is still so much more to be done,” said De Lille in the statement.


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