Chinese Interest in South Africa Grows

From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.
The number of people visiting South Africa grew by almost 10 percent last year. One country making that number grow is China. Chinese investment has been
increasing in South Africa. So has the number of Chinese visitors to
the country. China sends the fourth largest number of tourists to South
Africa. More than 130,000 Chinese tourists went there last year.
Europeans remain the biggest tourism group. But the percentage of
Chinese tourists grew by 56 percent from 2011 to 2012. Beverly Schafer
is a member of Cape Town’s city government. She represents an
area that is home to a famous soccer stadium. She says the number
of visitors to the country increased after South Africa hosted the World
Cup soccer championship in 2010. South Africa’s travel industry has
been noting the growing number of Chinese tourists. Mariette Du
Toit-Helmbold has worked with Cape Town Tourism. She says
the industry is looking for Chinese-speaking guides and has
started providing information in Mandarin Chinese. There are several
reasons for the increase in Chinese tourists. One could be
South Africa’s inclusion in the BRICS economic group, which also
includes China. Also, South Africa recently added visa application
centers in Beijing and Shanghai. And last year, South African Airways
added direct flights between Beijing and Johannesburg. Traditionally,
Cape Town’s tourism industry has been directed toward Europeans and
Americans, who often travel in smaller groups or as couples. However, Chinese tourists often prefer to travel in larger groups. For VOA Learning English, I’m Mario Ritter.
(Adapted from a radio program broadcast 17May2013)

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