South African tourism rebounds, but several factors influence its future path – part two
South Africa has always attracted tourist visitors from the old colonial powers, and though diminished, they kept up appearances during the pandemic. Following a big influx of visitors in 2022 and 1Q2023, the country’s tourist authority must now consider whether the time is right to seek new markets, or whether it should continue to focus on these markets in which there will always be a solid base.
The position is made more complex by uncertainty over the future of South African Airways. With there being an imminent takeover, that future looks brighter than it has been for quite a few years, but there is still much work to be done.
And while the country sells itself easily with its big open spaces and beaches, the crime rate is of sufficient concern that the formation of a special tourist police force is under consideration, nationally. The biggest area of concern, though, must be the allegations made in the past week or so that a Russian cargo ship was permitted to transport arms to that country from a South African port.
South Africa is repositioning itself geopolitically, away from its previous ties to the US, UK and the Netherlands, but to gravitate too far, too fast, could have a negative impact on numerous elements of its economy, including tourism.
This is part two of a two-part report.
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