The sculpture of Mandela at the place where he was arrested, near Howick. Picture: EPA
CAPE TOWN - Africa earned $35 billion (R455.1bn) in tourism receipts in 2016, reflecting an 8% growth on the previous year, buoyed by improved security and visa procedures, according to a report published by the UN World Tourism Organisation last week. 

Tourist arrivals in Africa account for 5% of global figures. While 58 million international tourists visited the region, up 4 million on 2015, this marked a rebound from a weaker performance in 2014 and 2015, induced by various health-related issues, and geopolitical and economic problems. 

Sub-Saharan Africa registered a 10% growth in international tourist arrivals. It led the region’s recovery. 

South Africa, the sub-region’s top destination, enjoyed a 13% growth in international tourist arrivals, partly due to simpler visa procedures.