JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – South Africa stands out as a tourist destination in the world, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Last year we grew at more than double the world average – 10.5 percent for January to November 2012, compared to a global average growth of four percent,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said at an awards ceremony in New York, according to a copy of his speech.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“With growth rates of more than double the world average and quadruple the world average if one takes overseas visitors into account, we can look back very favourably on 2012.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He said tourism remained stable in South Africa in the midst of the 2008/2009 global financial crisis.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“South Africa is indeed a unique and varied destination which offers tourist experiences that suit every taste and budget,Ã¢â‚¬Â Van Schalkwyk said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Visitors to South Africa stand in awe of how much this country has to offer, which includes the variety of experiences, the value for money, our world-class tourism infrastructure, and of course our culturally-diverse people.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He said 2013 was a special year for South Africa, as it had entered its 20th year of democracy.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Irrespective of what news agencies may tell you, South Africa still remains a story of hope, a story of inspiration, and a story of the future,Ã¢â‚¬Â Van Schalkwyk said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“That’s why more and more people want to come to our country and see it for themselves.Ã¢â‚¬Â