SA hits tourism high

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iol travel dec 17 tourists ct INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS File photo: 'Once again, the latest results clearly demonstrate the resilience and immense economic potential of travel and tourism.' Picture: David Ritchie

Pretoria - December 2013 recorded the highest ever number of tourists in South Africa in one month, Statistician General Pali Lehohla said on Tuesday.

“November we saw a slight decline and in December we saw a boost,” he said.

Lehohla said 937 792 tourists visited the country in December 2013 - an increase of 7.6 percent from the 871 774 tourists recorded in December 2012.

The main purpose of entry was holiday.

In 2013, nearly 10 million tourists (9,531,426) were recorded in the country - an increase of 3.7 percent from the 9,188,368 tourists recorded in 2012.

“All ports of entry have been used in December 2013,” Lehohla said in Pretoria.

“The number of those who enter South Africa and stay and the number of those who leave - fewer leave than those that enter.

“At least for the month of December.”

He said December attracted more tourists than any other month.

Lehohla released Statistics SA's measure of tourists in South Africa for December 2013, in Pretoria.

He said overall 4,301,694 people crossed the borders with South Africa in December 2013. Of this 2,060,639 were entries and 2,241,055 exited the country.

From the tourists, 68.9 percent are from the SA Development Community countries and 28.1 percent from overseas.

He said a tourist is described as someone who stays one night or more away from home. A visitor is someone who is in the country for less than 12 months.

He said the information came from the home affairs department when passports get stamped and scanned at all ports - road, sea and air - of entry and exit. - Sapa

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