Hard work ahead

2011-03-09 00:00

THE flush over how many tourists flocked to South Africa in what was an extraordinary World Cup year has led to a sense of complacency that the world will come simply because we are here.

The results of the World Economic Forum’s travel and tourism competitiveness index suggest otherwise. In spite of the 2010 hype, South Africa dropped five places to number 66 in the rankings. The strong rand and inflexible pricing are held to be the main cause.

Not surprisingly, our lowest sub-index rating was for security, where we placed 129 out of 139. We placed 43rd for road quality and air transport infrastructure, 37th for price competitiveness and only 14th for natural resources, a statistic that will surprise all fiercely patriotic South Africans who believe that we are over-endowed in that department.

The tourism industry has been warned: 2010 is history and we’ll have to work hard to get those tourist dollars we have come to take for granted.

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