26 Jun 2012
Johannesburg will be the second most visited destination city in Africa, with a projected 2.5 million international visitors expected this year.
This is according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, which ranks 132 global cities by their total international visitors to understand the global economy and dynamic flow of commerce around the world.
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The international visitors are projected to spend more while visiting Johannesburg than any other destination city on the continent, with US$3.3 billion estimated to be injected into the city during 2012, an increase of 8.1 percent on 2011’s figures.
View the Index as an interactive map here.
The three cities where most visitors to Johannesburg originate from are London (328 000 people), Frankfurt (196 000 people) and Dubai (166 500 people).
Combined, these visitors are expected to inject US$975 million into the city’s economy in terms of cross-border spend during 2012.
The report reveals that visitors from London are expected to spend US$638 million during 2012 (an average of US$1 945 per person), those from Frankfurt will spend US$182 million (an average US$929 per person) while Dubai visitors will spend US$155 million (an average of US$930 per person).
Some 143 000 visitors are expected to travel to Johannesburg from Paris with an anticipated spend of US$332 million in the city during 2012, a substantial amount compared to visitor numbers and an average of US$2 320 per person – the highest average spend per person of all visitors.
Dries Zietsman, country manager, MasterCard Worldwide, South Africa says the with regards to destination cities that those from Johannesburg are travelling to, in most cases they are opting for African destinations before they travel overseas.
“Four of the top five outbound destinations for Johannesburg travellers are within Africa. Windhoek and Nairobi are the top two outbound travel destinations; London comes in third, followed by Harare and Luanda,” he says.
Thirteen African cities were ranked within the 132 cities including Cairo, Johannesburg, Casablanca, Accra, Nairobi, Beira, Cape Town, Dakar, Durban, Kampala, Lagos, Maputo, and Tunis.
Ahead of Johannesburg in terms of visitor numbers, and taking the top position in Africa, is Cairo with 3.3 million visitors expected in 2012, while Casablanca, with an anticipated 2.1 million visitors, is third.
Looking at international visitor expenditure in the African cities surveyed for 2012, Cairo takes second place after Johannesburg, with the city expecting to attract US$3.0 billion in cross-border spend followed by Casablanca at US$1.9 billion.
The report notes that the regional outlook for the Middle East and Africa is positive with visitor numbers for the top 10 cities set to grow by 7.2 percent, total international spending predicted to rise by 10.4 percent and average spend per visit set to grow by 3 percent.
Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and author of the report, says cities in Africa are showing strong growth.
Tunis, after the political upheaval in early 2011, is expected to show growth of 19.8 percent in visitor spend, with an increase in visitor numbers of 17.7 percent.
Nairobi expects double figure growth - a 10 percent growth in visitor spend is expected off a 16.7 percent growth in visitor expenditure.
Cairo expects an 8.4 percent growth in spend, off an 8.3 percent growth in visitor numbers.
“This kind of growth pattern strongly suggests that destination cities in emerging markets in Africa will also continue to grow in importance in the global economy,” he says.
Durban will be the fastest growing city in Africa for both visitor numbers and expenditure,and is predicted to be the second fastest growing city of all the 132 cities surveyed worldwide, with a projected 33.3 percent growth in the number of international visitors and 41.3 percent growth in visitor expenditure in 2012 – albeit off a low base.
He notes that this growth is supported by the fact that Emirates Airline has reaffirmed its confidence in Durban as a leading South African tourist destination, by increasing its capacity on its Dubai-Durban route by 30 percent from June 2012 in direct response to increasing passenger demand on this route from the Middle and Far East, China and Dubai.
Read the article here.
Zietsman says the Durban International Convention Centre provides the largest flat floor, column free exhibition and conferencing space in Africa, attracting many international exhibitors to the city while playing host to some of the largest and most complex conferences and business events in the world over the past fifteen years.
The Mother City, Cape Town, will have 185 000 visitors from London and they are expected to spend US$361 million throughout the year.
This is followed by 127 500 travellers from Dubai spending US$118 million and 76 000 visitors from Amsterdam spending US$68 million.
In 2011, Tripadvisor, an influential online travel website, named Cape Town as the world’s top holiday destination and led to British Airways using bigger planes on this route to increase capacity, as well as increasing its weekly flight schedule.
Click here to read the article.
“Cape Town is popular with many travellers because of the wide-range of experiences it offers visitors, from surfing and sailing, mountain climbing and beaches, to its wine farms and world-renowned fine-dining establishments.
“Its World Heritage Sites, magnificent natural surrounds and superior shopping opportunities add to its irresistible appeal,” he says. – Denise Mhlanga
Denise MhlangaProperty journalist at property24.com
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