Industry News

South Africa Highest Ranked African Country in 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index

As South Africa’s tourism sector makes headwinds with rapid recovery and efforts to enhance tourism
growth, the Department of Tourism is pleased to report that South Africa has ranked the highest in the
African region in the 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) by the World Economic

The Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) 2024 is the second edition of an index by the World
Economic Forum and was released earlier this week where South Africa was ranked 55th among 119
countries and emerged as the leading country in the rankings for the African continent.
The TTDI findings revealed that South Africa is home to the largest Travel and Tourism Economy in

The TTDI 2024 covers 119 economies and measures the set of factors and policies that enable the
sustainable and resilient development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn contributes to the
development of a country.
“We are extremely pleased with this ranking as it affirms our commitment and work to elevate the
significance and contribution of the tourism sector in South Africa. The tourism sector has achieved
robust growth over the past year and this is due to closer partnerships and collaborations with the
private sector to grow tourism to its full potential,” Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille said.
In the 2024 Index, South Africa moved up 7 places compared to its previous ranking and scored high
for price competitiveness, ICT readiness, natural resources and travel and tourism socio-economic

“We are delighted by the growth and our mission remains to exponentially grow arrival numbers and
the overall performance of the tourism sector. The sector already makes a significant contribution to
South Africa’s GDP and job creation efforts but there is still so much more to be done. We have been
working closer with the private sector and we are bearing fruit. I want to acknowledge and thank the
tourism private sector stakeholders for all their hard work and collaborating with government to grow
this exciting and important sector. The South Africa tourism sector’s greatest asset is our people and
we will continue working to grow tourism’s contribution to the prosperity of people and the planet”
Minister de Lille said.

In 2023, South Africa welcomed close to 8.5 million international visitors of which 6.4million were from
the African continent. This represents a significant increase of 48.9% compared to 2022 arrivals.
During the first quarter of 2024 – January to March – South African welcomed 2.4million visitors from
the rest of the world. This represents a notable 15.4% increase when compared with the same period
in 2023.

The objective of the TTDI is to serve as a crucial benchmarking tool for stakeholders to gauge the
progress of the travel and tourism sector, informing policy and investment decisions. It offers insights
into travel and tourism economies’ strengths and areas for improvement, and the interconnected
nature of travel and tourism development, as well as facilitating strategic planning and multi-stakeholder dialogue to encourage sustainable and resilient growth at various levels.

The Development Framework of the Index looks at various factors in the travel and tourism economies
of countries such as: Enabling environment (business environment, safety and security and health and
hygiene), Travel and Tourism Policy and Enabling Conditions (prioritisation of travel and tourism,
openness to travel and tourism and price competitiveness), Infrastructure and Services (air transport
infrastructure, ground and port infrastructure and tourist services and infrastructure) as well as Travel
and Tourism Resources.

The TTDI is part of the World Economic Forum’s broader work with industry and government
stakeholders to build a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient future for economies and local

The compilation of the TTDI involves a multi-stakeholder approach by the World Economic Forum and
the 2024 TTDI report is based on research collaboration between the Forum and the University of
Surrey. The report was also developed through input from leading Travel & Tourism stakeholder
organizations, thought leaders and data partners.

“As the South African travel and tourism sector – government and the private sector – we will continue
to work with all partners to further interrogate the TTDI findings and identify the areas where major
improvements and work is needed to further improve South Africa’s ranking. We remain committed to
growing and affirming South Africa’s status as a leading global travel destination and growing tourism’s
contribution to the economy and job creation,” Minister de Lille concluded.

Link to the Travel and Tourism Development Index 2024:

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