Cape Town - The number of tourists visiting South Africa surpassed the nine million mark in 2012, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.
Announcing the annual tourism statistics in Cape Town, Zuma said 9 188 368 tourists visited South Africa in 2012 - up 10% from the 8 339 354 in 2011.
This was more than double the global tourist growth of 4%.
"This phenomenal tourism growth is evidence that we are successfully setting ourselves apart in a competitive marketplace and that South Africa's reputation as a friendly, welcoming, inspiring, and unique tourism destination continues to grow," Zuma said.
Growth from the overseas market increased by 15%.
Europe remained South Africa's biggest source market, growing by 9.5%.
Strong growth from emerging markets in Asia and South America was also recorded in 2012.
"Since 2009 arrivals from China have more than tripled, arrivals from Brazil have more than doubled, and arrivals from India have almost doubled," he said.