Johannesburg is top destination city in Africa

PROUD MOMENT: City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor Clr. Herman Mashaba.

JOHANNESBURG is set to be the most popular destination city in Africa for the fourth year, according to the 2016 Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index.

The city is expected to welcome 3.6 million international overnight visitors in 2016, a 6.2 per cent increase on last year’s 3.39 million visitors. Cairo in Egypt is the second most visited African city, with 1.5 million international overnight visitors followed by Cape Town (1.4 million visitors), Casablanca in Morocco (1 million visitors), and Durban (831,000 visitors).

“Tourism remains an important driver of South Africa’s economy and the steady rise in visitor numbers, indicates how the City of Gold’s fascinating mix of iconic attractions, is proving ever more compelling to today’s international traveller. Visitor spend is an increasingly important source of revenue for the city’s hospitality, retail, transport, sports and cultural sectors,” said Mark Elliott, Mastercard’s South Africa Division President.

The Index provides more than simply a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world. It also projects visitor volumes and spend estimates for the 2016 calendar year, while delivering a deeper understanding of how people travel and spend around the world. The 13 African cities ranked in the Index are: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Cairo, Casablanca, Accra, Nairobi, Beira, Dakar, Kampala, Lagos, Maputo and Tunis.

According to the City of Johannesburg, the Index rating affirms Johannesburg’s position as the economic capital – and heartbeat of trade and economic activity on the African continent.

City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Clr Herman Mashaba, said: “As the strong numbers of visitors from our neighbouring countries shows, Johannesburg is one of the continent’s most important businesses, cultural and economic hubs. Tourism is a priority industry for us and a pillar of our economic growth strategy for the years ahead.

“The index confirms Johannesburg’s status as a destination that attracts repeat visits, due to its continually evolving tourism offering: from popular shopping destinations such as our malls, to a wide range of lifestyle, sporting and business events.”

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Lucky Thusi
News Editor

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