International tourism to South Africa has surged since the end of apartheid. In 1994, the year of South Africa's first democratic elections, only 3.9-million foreign visitors arrived in the country.
By 2004, international arrivals had more than doubled to 6.7-million. In 2005 they grew to 7.5-million (+10.3%), in 2006 to 8.4-million (+13.9%), and in 2007 to 9.07-million (+8.3%).
Tourism is also one of the fastest growing sectors of South Africa's economy, its contribution to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) increasing from 4.6% back in 1993 to 8.3% in 2006. Directly and indirectly, tourism constitutes approximately 7% of employment in South Africa.
And the outlook for the industry is extremely positive, particularly with the exposure the country will receive in the lead-up to the world's biggest sporting event, the Fifa World Cup, taking place in South Africa in 2010.
South Africa attracted over 22 000 more travellers from the US in 2007 - an 8.7% increase over 2006.
Arrivals from Asia and Australasia also grew strongly in 2007 compared to 2006, with a 16.9% increase from India, 12.9% increase from China, and 6.9% increase in visitors from Australasia.