The tourism sector employed 686 596 persons in 2016, Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said on Monday.
This, according to Maluleke, is an increase of 2.7% percent or 17 945 employees compared to 2015.
According to Stats SA, the tourism sector share of total employment increased from 4.2% in 2015 to 4.4% in 2016. The tourism sector directly contributed 2.9% to South African gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016.
Releasing the Tourism Satellite Report (TSA) at a media briefing in Tshwane, Maluleke said there were 15 121 328 non-resident visitors to South Africa in the year 2016 compared with 13 951 901 in 2015 and 14 529 542 in 2014.
Of the non-resident visitors in 2016, 5 077 165 were same-day visitors and 10 044 163 were tourists.
“Tourism direct gross domestic product (TDGDP) increased from R108 683 million in 2015 to R125 136 million in 2016 (15.1% increase).”
Maluleke said inbound tourism expenditure totalling R121 400 million was recorded in 2016.
“The main expenditure items were non-specific products (28.1%), accommodation for visitors (15%), connected products (13.4%) and road passenger transport services (11.9%).
“Domestic tourism expenditure totalling R144 358 million (including the domestic portion of outbound tourism expenditure) was recorded in 2016,” Maluleke said.
The main expenditure items were road passenger transport services (27.8%), non-specific products (17.3%), accommodation for visitors (14.8%) and air passenger transport services (14.3%).
The total internal tourism consumption in cash for South Africa in 2016 was R265 758 million (inbound tourism consumption R121 400 million (45.7%) and domestic tourism consumption R144 358 million (54.3%).
The main expenditure items for internal tourism were non-specific products (22.2%), road passenger transport services (20.5%), accommodation for visitors (14.9%) and air passenger transport services (13.2%).
Maluleke explained that tourism imports (outbound tourism expenditure) increased by 8% to R78 493 million compared with 6.3% growth in the previous period.
The TSA report provides an overview of the role that tourism plays in South Africa and also information on the contribution by tourism sector to the economy in terms of expenditure and employment. – SAnews.gov.za