South Africa's tourism industry' s contribution to total GDP remained stable at 2.9 percent for both 2012 and 2013, according to the latest Tourism Satellite Account for South Africa.
Tourism direct GDP was 103.6 billion rand (about about 8.6 billion US dollars) in 2013, rising from 93.5 billion rand (about 7.8 billion dollars) in 2012.
The tourism industry continues to play an important role in the South African economy, said the report which provides an overview of tourism's contribution in terms of spending, employment and its impact on GDP.
Domestic visitors contributed 57 percent, or 124.7 billion rand (about 10.4 billion dollars) of total tourism spend in 2013, while international visitors contributed 43 percent, or 94.2 billion rand (about 7.8 billion dollars). Total tourism spend in 2013 was 218.9 billion rand (about 18 billion dollars), a rise of 9.7 percent from 199.4 billion rand (about 16.6 billion dollars) in 2012.
International and domestic visitors have different spending habits, according to the report. For every 100 rand (about eight dollars)spent by an international visitor in 2013, 27 rand (about 2.3 dollars)was spent on non-specific products, 15 rand (about 1.3 dollars) on tourism-connected products, 14 rand (about 1.2 dollars) on accommodation, 12 rand (about one dollar) on road transport and 12 rand on air transport; and 20 rand (about 1.7 dollars) was spent on other products.
During 2013, 14.3 million non-resident visitors visited South Africa, increasing from 13.1 million in 2012 and 12.1 million in 2011.
Rising visitor numbers and increased spending is bound to influence employment within the industry, the report said.
The number of persons employed in the tourism industry increased by 9,854, from 645,755 persons in 2012 to 655,609 persons in 2013. The tourism industry employs about 4.4 percent of all employed persons in South Africa.