South African Tourism is proud to announce its participation in the esteemed International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) scheduled to take place in Lisbon from October 16 to 19, 2023.
IGTM is a bespoke trade show for golf destinations, resorts and courses and provides them with the opportunity to connect with leading global golf travel agents and tour operators who help grow the world’s outbound tourism market.
This event serves as a prime platform for South Africa to showcase the country’s burgeoning golf tourism industry.
Zinhle Nzama, Acting Chief Conventions Bureau Officer at South African Tourism, emphasised the significance of this participation, stating, “Participating in IGTM is a testament to our commitment to promoting South Africa as a premier golf tourism destination. Our country’s unique blend of world-class golf courses, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural experiences make it an ideal choice for golf enthusiasts and we are thrilled to engage with industry professionals from around the globe.”
Nzama said South African Tourism has diligently worked towards positioning the country as a golfing destination. “With a diverse range of golf courses encompassing coastal links and those nestled against picturesque mountains and savannahs, South Africa offers a golfing experience unparalleled elsewhere. She added that the country’s mild climate ensures year-round playability, with the summer months, from November to March, being particularly popular among golfers.
She further highlighted the economic impact of golf tourism, stating, “Golf tourism significantly contributes to the local economy by attracting tourists who spend on accommodation, food, transportation, and other services. This increased revenue supports local businesses and creates job opportunities, enriching the entire tourism value chain.”
Nzama also underlined the importance of collaboration within the tourism sector, stating, “We are immensely grateful for the collaboration exhibited by the tourism sector in growing our industry. We continue to welcome this spirit of partnership with the industry as we collaborate to provide visitors and domestic travellers with the best our country has to offer through our quality-assured accommodations, high service excellence across various experiences, and our award-winning restaurants and culinary offerings.”
The significance of this participation is underscored by the remarkable growth in tourist arrivals recorded in South Africa. Between January and August 2023, a total of 5,473,927 arrivals were recorded, reflecting an astounding 63.4% increase compared to the same period in the previous year. This figure truly highlights South Africa’s resilience and magnetic appeal as a travel destination.
Additionally, South Africa remains a favoured destination for European tourists, with 776,430 arrivals recorded in the first eight months of 2023. Portugal, in particular, has witnessed significant year-on-year growth in visitation, registering an impressive 25% increase. This is substantiated by the arrival of 10,190 Portuguese visitors during this period, compared to 7,218 in the corresponding period of the previous year.