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South Africa tops Africa in WEF tourism index: Xinhua

An aerial photograph taken with a drone on April 12, 2024 shows circular fields in the suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Shiraaz Mohamed/Xinhua)

South Africa is ranked highest in the African region in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI), the country’s Department of Tourism said in a statement issued on Thursday.

CAPE TOWN, May 24 (Xinhua) — South Africa ranked highest in the African region in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI), the country’s Department of Tourism said. in a statement issued on Thursday.

South Africa was ranked 55th out of 119 countries and emerged as the leading ranking country on the African continent in the second edition of the index released earlier this week by the WEF.

The 2024 TTDI, which covers 119 economies and measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable and resilient development of the travel and tourism sector, also revealed that South Africa is home to the largest travel and tourism economy in Africa.

“We are very pleased with this ranking as it affirms our commitment and work to elevate the importance and contribution of the tourism sector in South Africa,” said South African Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille, quoted in the statement.

A member of the South African Navy Band performs during the Rand Show 2024 in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 30, 2024. (Xinhua/Zhang Yudong)

In the 2024 index, South Africa rose seven places compared to its previous ranking and scored highly in price competitiveness, information and communications technology readiness, natural resources and socio-economic impact of travel and tourism.

“The tourism sector has achieved robust growth over the past year, and this is due to closer partnerships and collaborations with the private sector to grow tourism to its full potential,” the statement said.

According to the statement, in 2023, South Africa welcomed nearly 8.5 million international visitors, of which 6.4 million came from the African continent, representing a significant increase of 48.9 percent compared to 2022 arrivals. .

During the first quarter of 2024, South Africa welcomed 2.4 million visitors from the rest of the world, a notable increase of 15.4 percent compared to the same period in 2023.

“We are delighted with the growth, and our mission remains to exponentially increase the number of arrivals and the overall performance of the tourism sector. The sector already makes a significant contribution to South Africa’s gross domestic product and job creation efforts, but there is still much to do,” De Lille said in the statement.

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