South Africa Tourism, the national tourism agency, reports the country experienced record growth in U.S. tourist arrivals through the summer. With increases of 16.2 percent, 98.9 percent, 9.7 percent and 35.2 percent for May, June, July and August, respectively, the country's arrivals doubled to twice the normal level in any previous year.
Following the World Cup, running from June 11 to July 11, tourists visiting through August brought the year-to-date arrivals to 193,317, an increase of 26 percent over this same period in 2009. The United States was the largest purchaser of tickets to the World Cup after South Africa.
Overseas arrivals (excluding those from continental Africa), saw an increase by 118 percent in June, 17 percent in July and 18 percent in August. Global arrivals for 2010 through August reached 5,286,003. This figure is an increase of 17.4 percent for an additional 782,000 visitors to South Africa over the same period last year, closing in on the destination's target of 10 million visitor arrivals by the year's end. (See our own Jena Tesse Fox's on-site coverage here.)
Sthu Zungu, president of South African Tourism, North America, said, "These numbers confirm what we believed all along - that tourism would be one of the key beneficiaries of the successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup."