Johannesburg, Cairo, and Cape Town have been named as three of the top 10 African destinations for overnight international visitors in 2016. According to a report published by MasterCard, Johannesburg earned $1.7 billion this year from 3.6 million international visitors, earning South Africa the third slot in the list of top 10 Middle East and African destination cities.
The report titled, “Global Destination Cities Index,” notes that, “Whereas [Johannesburg] had 3.39 international million visitors in 2015, the number increased to 3.6 million in 2016, representing a 6.2 percent rise.”
Cairo was ranked fifth on the list after earning $1.1 billion from 1.6 million international visitors in 2016, while the 1.37 million overnight tourists who visited Cape Town this year spent $ 1 billion, representing a percentage increase of 6.2 percent from last year.
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Johannesburg, Cairo, and Cape Town were ranked seventh, sixth, and 10th, respectively. Casablanca, which is the largest city in Morocco, was ranked the fifth fastest growing destination city. From 2009 to 2016, Casablanca’s compound annual growth rate was 4 percent.
According to the report, 91 percent of overnight international visitors enjoyed the leisure that Casablanca offers, helping the city become the second most preferred destination for visitors, after Cairo.
London had the highest number of overnight international visitors flying into Johannesburg in 2016, with 373,000 Londoners spending $285 million in South Africa’s largest city.
More than 294,000 visitors traveled from Harare, Zimbabwe, to Johannesburg, where they spent $106 million, while 233,000 overnight visitors from Frankfurt, Germany, spent $84 million.
This is positive news considering that new visa rules implemented by the South African government in 2016 require international visitors to apply for visas from the country’s embassy in person. It also appears that the current corruption scandals in the country have not stopped visitors from coming to South Africa.