The Department of Tourism has announced that South Africa has achieved the highest ranking in the African region in the Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) according to the World Economic Forum. This recognition comes as the country’s tourism industry continues to navigate rapid economic recovery and efforts to boost tourism growth.

The Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) 2024 is the second edition of an index by the World Economic Forum and was released earlier this week where South Africa was ranked 55th among 119 countries and emerged as the leading country in the rankings for the African continent.

The TTDI findings revealed that South Africa is home to the largest travel and tourism economy in Africa.

The TTDI 2024 covers 119 economies and measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable and resilient development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn contributes to the development of a country.

“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.
“The tourism sector has achieved robust growth over the past year due to closer partnerships and collaborations with the private sector to grow tourism to its full potential,” Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille said.

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

“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 significantly contributes to South Africa’s GDP and job creation efforts but there is still so much more to be done. We have been working closer with the private sector and we are bearing fruit.”
Tourism growth statistics

“I want to acknowledge and thank the tourism private sector stakeholders for all their hard work and collaboration with government to grow this exciting and important sector.

“The South Africa tourism sector’s greatest asset is our people and we will continue working to grow tourism’s contribution to the prosperity of people and the planet” Minister de Lille added.

In 2023, South Africa welcomed close to 8.5 million international visitors of which 6.4 million were from the African continent. This represents a significant increase of 48.9% compared to 2022 arrivals.

During the first quarter of 2024 – January to March – South Africa welcomed 2.4 million visitors from the rest of the world. This represents a notable 15.4% increase compared to the same period in 2023.

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