Lee-Anne Bac, director Advisory Services at Grant Thornton says: "Tourism arrivals only grew by 7.5% during 2014 which in effect means that 2015's negative performance has wiped out two years' worth of vital tourism growth."
The Advisory Services team completed the full year's review of tourism data for South Africa, following Statistics South Africa's release of Tourism and Migration findings for December 2015, on Wednesday afternoon 10 February 2016.
did emphasise that while significant losses were recorded during the first nine months of 2015, it was the final quarter of the year - from October to December - which helped to "save" South Africa as significantly improved statistics and data was recorded.
According to Grant Thornton's
analysis, for the 2015 year, South Africa experienced its biggest loss from African tourists where a decline of -7.3% was recorded, compared to +9% growth recorded during 2014.
"It is interesting to note that African air arrivals - those African tourists who enter South Africa via an airport - increased by 1.8% in 2015
," continued Bac
"But this then highlights even greater losses experienced in the number of land border African arrivals over the past year."
Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) saw a 14.4% increase in African air arrivals during 2015 and Bac
attributes this to the introduction of new airlines flying directly to CTIA.
Ethiopian Airlines now boasts six return flights per week from Addis Ababa to Cape Town direct.
Overseas tourists to South Africa, which are defined as visitors who are citizens of a country outside of Africa, declined by -4,9% in 2015
"The overseas tourism market stabilised notably during October (-0.1%) following a disastrous first nine months of the year," adds Bac
"It's important to remember, though, that 2014 was a disastrous year for arrivals from China with a -23% decline recorded in overall tourist arrivals," says Bac
Recent changes to travel laws and the sheer nature of this industry will hopefully help it to rebound from its current decline in the months and years to come," Bac