SA makes the Chinese cut, Indians think we’re the business
From affordable surgery to jewellery and wildlife - this is why other BRICS nations visit SA
The Chinese seem to prefer our nips, lifts and tucks, while the Indians love our mountains and wildlife.
This is according to a latest PricewaterhouseCoopers report which examined how BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations have made significant inroads in SA’s tourism industry.
It found that Chinese tourists chose SA as a destination for the affordable state-of-the-art medical facilities the country offers.
The report also includes their perceptions, the nature of their visits and a breakdown of tourist expenditure.
SA is currently hosting the 10th annual BRICS summit in Johannesburg until Friday.
According to the report, the summit will not only bring hundreds of visitors from the BRIC nations to SA, but is expected to further stimulate the growth already seen in overall inbound tourism from these four countries.
PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that BRIC visitors spent about R3-billion while in SA in 2016.
Tourist arrivals from BRIC nations increased by 6.1% in 2017 – higher than the average tourist arrivals – to 275,521 visitors.The report shows that Chinese tourists stay longer in SA for medical procedures and personal shopping.
“Chinese nationals are taking advantage of South Africa’s growing reputation as a destination for medical tourism.
“For travellers from Europe and Asia, South Africa is an affordable alternative to more expensive healthcare systems in the northern hemisphere.
“Furthermore, in addition to its state-of-the-art medical facilities, South Africa also offers inbound visitors the opportunity to recuperate from their medical procedures in a variety of leisure settings.”
SA has ranked among the leading destinations for medical travellers who want various procedures, including cosmetic surgery.
Competitive procedure prices have resulted in Chinese visiting SA for medical reasons, and they are staying in the country for more than two months.
Jewellery and luxury brands are also luring Chinese tourists to SA, according to the report.
“The Chinese economy – the second largest in the world – is seeing a burgeoning middle class opting to spend their money internationally, and anecdotal evidence suggests that Chinese tourists in South Africa spend far more on jewellery and other luxury goods compared to other BRIC visitors.”
Brazilians are the least likely to travel to SA for business, but primarily for leisure.
They are most likely, among BRIC visitors, to shop, enjoy wildlife, visit natural, cultural, historical and heritage attractions, go to a beach or theme park, and undertake an adventure activity.
Indians visit SA mainly for business, while Russians are more interested in the sights, wildlife and heritage sites.