South Africa climbs global tourism list

South Africa has been ranked as one of the top 25 most attractive tourist destinations, according to a new global survey.

Bloom Consulting’s 2014 Country Brand Ranking noted that for the first time, South Africa tops the list on the African continent, ahead of Egypt (27).

Morocco (31) maintained its 3rd place position in Africa, ahead of Kenya (50) and Tanzania (66).

The survey used the following metrics to determine its ranking: attraction of investment; attraction of tourism; attraction of talent; strengthening national pride; strengthening public diplomacy and  strengthening exports.

Globally, the US topped the list, with four European countries making the top 10:

  1. USA
  2. Spain
  3. Germany
  4. Hong Kong
  5. France
  6. Thailand
  7. Australia
  8. Macao
  9. China
  10. Italy

South Africa moved up four places from last year to rank 24th, ahead of Greece, while India entered the top 25 list, climbing three positions to 23rd place.

“These newcomers have, inversely, knocked two formerly top-ranked countries from last year’s Country Brand ranking out of the global top 25: Egypt and the United Arab Emirates,” Bloom said.

“South Africa has overthrown the previously undefeated Egyptian tourism Country Brand.

“Egypt, due to it’s political instability, decrease in tourism receipts, relatively weak CBS ( Country Brand strategy) Rating and unfavorable online presence, has fallen from it’s regional throne, dropping to only the second strongest tourism-related Country Brand in Africa,” the consulting firm said.

South Africa, taking advantage of a debilitated Egypt, has steadily risen to the top slot in the region, recording a strong CBS Rating and Digital Demand, Bloom said.

In Africa, it said that with the exception of Egypt the top 3 countries have improved on their 2013 positions.

Kenya and Tanzania tend to rely on fewer but wealthier tourists coming for safaris and other nature-centric excursions, it said.

“Outside of the regional top five, the majority of African nations – with the notable exceptions of trendy new tourist destinations like Ethiopia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Seychelles, all of which climbed significantly in the regional ranking (Zimbabwe, for example, went up five positions, surpassing nations like Nigeria, Madagascar, and Botswana) – have lower global positions than those they held in 2013,” Bloom said.