is the South African Hotels and Guest Accommodation directory with information on local tourist attractions, historic places, museums, wildlife and much more…

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Friday 04 Sep 2015
YOU ARE HERE: 2007 SA Tourism Research Types of tourism
Types of tourism
South African Tourism Industry - S.A. Tourism Industry Research

South Africa’s diversity of culture and geography contributes to its description as “a world in one country". The warm summers and mild winters, natural beauty, excellent infrastructure and welcoming people made this country the world’s fastest-growing tourism destination in 2007. South Africa is considered to be a value for money destination complemented by its recent history and miraculous peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy.

Business tourism

The business tourist market in South Africa ranges from persons transporting goods to those attending conferences. The conference tourism sector has seen rapid growth in the last decade due to the successful hosting of prominent international conferences. Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre is the most prominent landmark in the conference industry. Business tourism also includes the incentive holiday for staff.

Backpacker Tourism

Young adventure seekers from the developing world who prefer the independence of backpacking have quietly grown into a significant sector of the overseas market. As they shy away from traditional accommodation, they spend more time in the country on adventure and social activities.

Historical, Cultural Tourism

From a supply perspective South Africa’s rich diversity provides a source of opportunity for those wishing to establish a market for historical, cultural tourism. The recent political past and the colonial wars should ensure opportunities in what is essentially an underdeveloped market. South Africa’s culture remains undifferentiated from the rest of the continent and is therefore not seen as a competitive factor.


The fastest-growing segment of tourism in South Africa is ecological tourism (ecotourism), which includes nature photography, bird-watching, botanical studies, snorkeling, hiking and mountaineering. The abundance of national and provincial parks in South Africa provides the eco-tourist with a wide variety of choices.

Sports tourism

South Africa has hosted successful world sporting events since 1994. The rugby and cricket world cups have showcased South Africa’s sporting infrastructure. Sport and active recreation make up approximately 2.1% of GDP, which is at the same level of contribution as countries such as the USA.

Medical Tourism

South Africa’s private medical facilities and to some extent the state hospitals attract many African tourists for medical treatment. 5% of foreign tourists come to South Africa for medical purposes. Their average spend is almost twice as high as the average.

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