Statistics on tourists, December 2013 – Media Release

Media Release                                                                                                                   15 April 2014

Tourists visiting South Africa reached a record high of nearly one million in December 2013 alone

A total of 937 792 tourists visited South Africa during December 2013, making it the highest ever recorded number of tourists in the country in any one month. This was an increase of 7,6% from the 871 774 tourists recorded in December 2012. Month-to-month comparison indicates that tourists increased by 12,3% between November 2013 and December 2013. Generally, December attracts more tourists than any other month in South Africa.

This is according to the statistics on tourism published by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on 15 April 2014. The statistics are derived from data routinely collected by immigration officers of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) at all road, air and sea entry/exit ports on all foreign travellers arriving into or departing from South Africa. This information is captured into the DHA’s population Movement Control System from which data are extracted to provide statistics on tourists and other travellers.

The distribution of tourists by region of residence showed that over two-thirds of all tourists came from the SADC region, followed by those from the overseas region at 28% and about 2% from other countries in Africa. The number of tourists from ‘other African’ countries increased at a much higher rate of 11,9% between December 2012 and December 2013 compared to tourists from overseas (increased by 8,2%) and SADC (increased by 6,6%). The main purpose of visit for tourists that came in December 2013 was for holidays. A relatively higher proportion of those from North Africa, Asia and Middle East came to South Africa for business.

From SADC countries, the main contributors of December 2013 tourists were those from Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Mozambique who combined contributed nearly two-thirds of tourists from the SADC region. Overseas tourists were mainly from United Kingdom, United States of America and Germany while tourists from ‘other African’ countries were largely from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda.

Over time, there has been a general increase in the number of tourists visiting the country every year. In 2013, nearly 10 million (9 531 426) tourists were recorded in the country. This was an increase on 3,7% from the 9 188 368 tourists recorded in 2012.

The full reports are available on the Statistics South Africa website:
Issued by:

Ms Kefiloe Masiteng

Deputy Director General: Population & Social Statistics

Tel: 012 310 4663


Mr. Trevor Oosterwyk

Executive Manager: Communications

Tel: 012 310 8130

Cell: 082 908 9104



Dr. Maletela Tuoane-Nkhasi

Executive Manager: Health and Vital Statistics

Tel: 012 310 8317

Cell: 082 804 6895