SADC markets up, East and West Africa down

Travel to South Africa from East and West Africa showed a declined last year compared with 2013, while travel from the SADC region showed an upward trend, according to statistics provided by Statistics South Africa.

East and West African countries are subject to SA’s requirement for in-person visa applications, while SADC countries are exempt from visa requirements. The biggest source markets for travel to SA from East and West Africa, namely Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria, showed a decrease in arrival numbers for 2014. 

Kenya’s overall arrivals dropped 6% from 31 323 to 29 586, while travel from Ghana dropped 16% from 23 421 to 19 789 and arrivals from Nigeria dipped 13% from 75 939 to 65 973.

Travel from Kenya and Ghana showed the biggest dip in the third quarter, down 13% and 18%, while travel from Nigeria showed the biggest dip of 18% in the final quarter, year on year. 

Leisure travel from all three African markets experienced the largest drop during the last six months of 2014 compared with 2013. 

Travel from Kenya saw the biggest dip of 28% in July 2014. 

The largest contributing source markets in the SADC region showed an increase in arrivals. 

Travel from Botswana increased by 7% in 2014 compared with 2013. Business travel from this market saw a significant increase of 43% while leisure travel increased by 8%. 

Arrivals from Lesotho increased by 3% overall, with a notable increase of 21% coming from leisure travellers in 2014. 

Malawi and Namibia both showed slight increases of 2% and 5% respectively. 

Leisure travel from Namibia increased by 5% mainly in the second (11%) and fourth (8%) quarters of the year.

Arrivals from the Tanzanian market, listed as a SADC country by Statistics SA, increased by 9% from 25 915 to 28 221. 

The majority of this increase came from the leisure segment, which increased by 8% from 24 334 to 26 382, while business travel increased 6%. 

Travel from Zimbabwe and Zambia increased by 12% and 6% respectively. 

Business arrivals from Zimbabwe saw a significant increase of 45% while leisure travel increased by 22% from this market from 1 732 201 to 2 105 189. Zambia’s leisure segment increased by 8% from 151 734 to 163 679. 

However, business travel from Zambia saw a continued fall throughout the year with a drop of 14% in the first six months and 12% in the second half of 2014. Arrivals from Mozambique increased by 18% from 1 090 705 to 1 283 016, compared with the previous year. 

The largest portion of leisure travel took place during the last six months of the year with an increase of 12% from 524 788 to 586 152, while the first six months saw an increase of 6% from 543 408 to 575 114. 

Like Mozambique, overall arrivals from Angola increased by 18%. 

A significant increase in leisure arrivals was experienced in 2014 during the months of April, May and June with 33%, from 8 650 in 2013 to 11 467 in 2014. 

Angolan nationals require a visa to enter SA but despite this, the market still managed to grow, suggesting strong growth potential from this emerging market. 

The largest SADC source markets for 2014 were Zimbabwe with 2 143 717 arrivals, Lesotho at 1 501 643, Swaziland at 918 493 and Mozambique at 1 283 016.  Of these arrivals, entry via road made up 95%, 100%, 99% and 97% of total arrivals from Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique respectively. – Southern Africa Tourism Update

April 2015
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