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TThe international report is based on the systems and methodologies that were developed and applied from 2001. SA Tourism’s Departure Survey measures the travel behaviour of international tourists as they leave South Africa from both land and airports of entry. The number of people arriving by sea is negligible, and hence travel by sea is not included in the survey. 

The survey is conducted through probability sampling is used, and the main sampling method is stratified sampling where, within each stratum, systematic random sampling is used.  The airport sample is 3,800 per month and is done at OR Tambo International and Cape Town International airports. The two international airports have a combined universe coverage of 99.4%, with King Shaka (KSIA) and other international airports having 0.6% coverage of the universe of travellers. 

The land border survey is conducted at 12 of the 55 land borders South Africa has. These borders were selected based on the volume of movements. The 12 border gates at which the survey is conducted represent borders to six neighbouring countries, i.e., Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique. A sample of 1,000 interviews per month is conducted at the land borders. 

The sample is drawn from the Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) tourist arrivals data which is representative of the tourist arrivals universe. The sample is drawn to be representative of the population at a confidence interval of 95% and a margin of error of 1.6% for the airport monthly sample and 3.1% for the land border monthly. 

The results are subsequently statistically weighted up to the tourist arrivals by air and road as released by Statistics SA, for the reference period. This allows continuous tracking of expenditure patterns, accommodation usage, travel behaviour, experiences, buying-process and travel patterns.  

Learn more about the statistics, surveys and data compiled specifically related to international visitors to South Africa. Detailed information regarding their expenditure patterns, length of stay and travel behaviour can be found in this report. 


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  • To make the report larger, click on the double sided arrow icon in the right bottom corner
  • Click here for an infographic of how the “International Key Measures” are collected

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