6 March 2014

Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk celebrates 20 years of tourism and freedom at ITB in Germany 2014

The world’s leading travel trade show, ITB, is currently underway in Berlin, Germany and South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, is in attendance to share South Africa’s tourism industry’s success story with the German travel trade.

Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South Africa's Minister of Tourism

The strong South African support at ITB 2014 is indicative of the confidence that the South African tourism industry has in the German market at the moment.

As South Africa celebrates 20 years of freedom, the Minister thanked the trade and media for their on-going support and contribution in the continued good growth in arrivals from this all important market. “Since 1994 German arrivals to South Africa have grown from a total of 105 000 in 1994 to over 266 000 tourists in 2012, representing a growth of 153% in less than 20 years. Importantly in 2012 we recorded more German tourists to South Africa than ever before, said Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

Germany remains a very important market in terms of overseas arrivals and in 2012, tourist arrivals reached an all-time high of 266 333 tourists. This is a 13% growth on the 2011 numbers. This number will be exceeded by some margin in 2013 given that, from January to October 2013 arrival numbers were 14.8% higher than they were for the same period in 2012 (234 531 in 2013 up from 204 247 in 2012). This also far exceeds the 6.2% average growth for Europe.

“Germany is our third largest source of overseas tourists. It’s been an incredible journey in which South Africa has emerged from a wildlife destination, serving primarily a domestic market, to one of the most visible, exciting, culturally diverse and varied global tourist destinations in the world today” added Minister van Schalkwyk.

In total, nearly 50 companies are represented on the South African Tourism stand at this year’s ITB event. “A strong South African contingent is also great news in a year where the world’s media will certainly be looking at South Africa with some interest given that, on 27 April 2014, we mark 20 years of living in a free and democratic country. The strong South African support at ITB 2014 is indicative of the confidence that the South African tourism industry has in the German market at the moment.” In the German market, South Africa is increasingly setting itself apart as a country that offers value for money and whose people make it a truly remarkable destination.