Acting Johannesburg Tourism Company CEO Phelisa Mangcu says the report is a feather in the cap for all the stakeholders who are working hard to promote tourism in the City
The City of Joburg is cool! That’s what millions of international visitors say.
According to the latest MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, the City of Gold is the second-most popular destination on the African continent.
A projected 2.5 million international visitors are expected to visit Joburg this year and spend about R27.8-billion, an increase of 8.1% compared with last year’s figures.
Thirteen African cities – Cairo, Johannesburg, Casablanca, Accra, Nairobi, Beira, Cape Town, Dakar, Durban, Kampala, Lagos, Maputo and Tunis – are ranked among 132 most popular cities in the world.
Ahead of Johannesburg in terms of visitor numbers in Africa is Cairo, with 3.3 million travelers expected to visit the Egyptian city this year alone. Morocco’s Casablanca is third, with 2.1 million visitors expected to pay it a visit during the same period.
Although more visitors will flock to Cairo, the 2.5 million who will pop into Johannesburg will spend more dollars than the Egyptian capital will rake in during the same period.
Cairo gets relegated to second place, with the city expecting to attract about R25.2 billion in cross-border spending, followed by Casablanca at R16 billion.
“This is the second installment of the MasterCard Index, which is used as a barometer for understanding the global economy and the dynamic flow of commerce across the world,” said Dries Zietsman, MasterCard Worldwide Country Manager: South Africa.
“The index ranks 132 global cities by their total international visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by visitors in the destination cities. It also forecasts visitor and passenger growth for 2012.”
The three cities where most visitors to Johannesburg originate from are London (328 000 people), Frankfurt (196 000) and Dubai (166 500).
In addition to Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town were also surveyed.
The index reveals that Durban will be the fastest growing city in Africa on both visitor numbers and expenditure.
It is also predicted to be the second-fastest growing city of all the 132 cities surveyed, with a projected 33.3% growth in the number of international visitors and a 41.3% increase in visitor expenditure this year, albeit off a low base.
Joburg Tourism Company Acting Chief Executive Officer Phelisa Mangcu has welcomed the report.
“This is definitely a feather in the cap for all the stakeholders who have been marketing the City. This requires all of us to become the City’s ambassadors. We have to redouble our efforts and maintain the momentum. Let us all make sure that when visitors go back to their home countries they tell of how an enriching experience it has been to visit our city,” Mangcu said.
Tourism is one of the City’s key economic drivers. The City, through its 2040 Strategy, seeks to build a growing economy, with tourism playing a significant role.
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