The Business Of Chinese Tourists in South Africa

In 2016, 10% of Chinese tourists who traveled abroad chose the African continent, contributing to the growth of tourism in the region. Between 2015 and 2016, African tourism increased by 8%, with the World Tourism Organization (WTO) being considered the continent “the new Eldorado” of the industry.

Last year, 58 million visitors of all nationalities flocked to Africa, not to mention Egypt. Three countries have singled out the main African tourist destinations: Morocco, Egypt and South Africa. These three countries have focused heavily on tourism from Asia, especially from China.

In eight years (from 2008 to 2016), the number of Chinese tourists who chose South Africa as their travel destination more than tripled from 3% to 10%. Despite the strong economic relations between China and the African countries, the Chinese know the continent poorly, which is beginning to change now, thanks to proactive policies such as that of South Africa, which in 2016 only opened seven offices in the People’s Republic of China to facilitate the issue of visas. The idea was imitated by other African countries, such as Kenya.

It should be noted that the Chinese, although they know the African continent badly, have a great passion for the great spaces and the wild animals. Programs on African wildlife, for example, are hugely successful on Chinese television. No wonder, therefore, the growth of Chinese tourism in Africa.

So, the number of Chinese tourists in South Africa has increased by 93% between 2015 and 2016. On average, South Africa welcomes 7,000 Chinese tourists per month, which can reach 10,000 in the summer season or Chinese New Year. The abolition of visas for Chinese tourists by South Africa has greatly contributed to the increase in visitors from the People’s Republic of China.

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