Attacks on foreign nationals in SA dent tourist numbers from the rest of the continent

The attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa have had an impact on the number of tourists from the rest of Africa wanting to visit the country.

Australians meanwhile are being swayed by safety fears and the negative attitudes of South African expats living there.

This is according to tourism minister Tokozile Xasa who gave details about tourist arrivals in response to a series of parliamentary questions asked by DA MPs.

In response to a question about which countries South African tourism was investing advertising spend in‚ but seeing low brand positivity ratings‚ Xasa said Nigeria and Australia ranked lowest.

She said Nigerians “perceive South Africans as not having a welcoming attitude to West Africans” and were influenced by the recent attacks on foreign nationals.

She said visa processing was also a problem.

She said Australia had low brand positivity ratings because of “concerns about safety and security” and the “negative sentiments by expats“.

In response to another question‚ Xasa said that the growth rate in the number of tourists from the rest of the continent had lagged behind the overall growth rate primarily because of “perceptions of South Africans being unfriendly and unwelcoming to people from the continent“.

And much like in the Nigerian case‚ visa issues and attacks on foreign nationals were keeping African tourists away.

Arrivals from the USA had meanwhile increased by around 9%. Xasa said this was because of improved perceptions of safety in that country and the fact that the Rand/Dollar exchange made South Africa a good value-for-money destination.

By Bianca Capazorio

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