Covid-19 impact on tourism revealed as visitor numbers plummet
Most visitors to SA came from other Southern African countries, said Stats SA.
New data shows a dramatic decline in the number of travellers to SA in January, compared with the same month last year, due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 520,510 travellers passed through SA ports of entry/exit in January 2021. This includes arrivals, departures and transits, said Stats SA, based on data collected from home affairs' immigration officers.
These travellers were made up of 189,721 SA residents and 330,789 foreign travellers.
Year on year, the volume of arrivals, departures and travellers in transit decreased for both SA residents and foreign travellers.
For SA residents, the volume of arrivals decreased by 83.8%. Departures decreased by 80.6% and transits decreased by 93.5%.
For foreign travellers, arrivals decreased by 87.7%, departures decreased by 89.1% and transits decreased by 91.3%.
Numbers were also down between December 2020 and January 2021.
Stats SA said for SA residents, the volume of arrivals decreased by 29.8%, departures decreased by 54.2% and transits decreased by 32.9% between December and January.
For foreign travellers in the same time frame, arrivals decreased by 29.9%, departures decreased by 58.8% and transits decreased by 23.2%.
This January most visitors - 121,764 - were from SADC countries, while 13,687 were from overseas and 3,461 from other African countries. The country of residence of 222 tourists was classified as unspecified.
Road transport was the most common mode of travel at 68%. The total number of travellers who used air transport was 31.4%.
In the case of foreign travellers, 17.7% arrived by air and 81.6% came by road.
The majority of tourists - 85.4% - were in SA for holiday, compared to 12%, 2.4% and 0.3% who were in SA for business, study and medical treatment respectively.