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REVEALED: JHB IS AFRICA’S MOST VISITED CITY

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REVEALED: JHB IS AFRICA’S MOST VISITED CITY
In the week, Mastercard released its annual Global Destination Cities Index which reveals Johannesburg is the most popular destination (in terms of visitor volumes and spend) in Africa. Coming in at 2nd and 6th place overall is Cape Town and Durban respectively.

We are pleased to see that South Africa’s three major cities performed so well during a tough 2016 operating environment. It seems natural to think that favourable Exchange Rate had all to do with it, but in the case of Johannesburg, 78% of international overnight visitors were from the Middle East – a region whose economic strength does not differ much from South Africa’s.   

The report goes on to reveal that Johannesburg welcomed 4.57 million international overnight visitors in 2016 – an impressive 24% increase on the previous year’s 3.69 million visitors. The City of Gold also generated US2.56bn of international visitor expenditure. The city of Cape Town also performed well, as it rose from 3rd place in 2015 to become the 2nd most popular African destination city in 2016 with 1.52 million visitors.

Other cities featuring in the top 6 include Lagos (1.04 million international overnight visitors); Casablanca (961 693); Cairo (820 959) and Durban (758 057).

More notable findings from the report include:

  • Visitors from Mozambique made up the biggest number of intl. visitors to JHB (1.02 million or 22% of the total number of intl. visitors)
  • Cape Town attracted a larger number of long-haul visitors than JHB, with most travellers coming from the United Kingdom (335 000), United States (218 000), Germany (217 000) and the Netherlands (96 000).
  • Bangkok remained the top-ranked destination city by intl. overnight visitor arrivals with a staggering 19.4 million visitors in 2016. This is followed by London (19.06m) and Paris (15.5m).

Dubai topped the ranks with the highest international overnight visitor spend, amounting to US$28.50bn in 2016, followed by New York (US$17.02bn) and London (US$16.09bn).

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