Satour reports U.S. visitor rise

New York -- The South Africa Tourism Board (Satour) reported that visitors from the U.S. to South Africa have more than doubled since 1994.

In that year, there were 74,743 American visitors to South Africa. In 1998, that number totaled 168,071. Blacky Komani, manager of Satour, said, "These impressive numbers reaffirm the rapidly growing interests in South Africa among American travelers."

Komani said he believes South Africa will be well positioned to reach its goal of 250,000 visitors from the U.S. by 2001.

In September, Mohammad Moosa, minister of environmental affairs and tourism, launched a $30 million program called the Tourism Action Plan. The plan is a blueprint for the international marketing of South Africa as a top world tourism destination.

The program was funded by both the government and the private sector -- a partnership that Moosa said the plan's success is dependent upon.

"This in itself is a measure of the importance of this issue to our country and to our economy, as tourism is one of the levels for economic growth and job creation. Tourism is a national priority, and it is gratifying to see that all stakeholders are coming to the table."

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