March 22, 2021

Chart of the Week: South African tourism feels COVID-19 variant and European lockdown pain

by Fathom Consulting.

South Africa has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19 — on the healthcare front and economically. The recent pickup in commodity prices provides some good news for the mineral-rich country and its currency has stabilised against the US dollar. But new lockdowns in Europe and news that the South African strain of COVID is more resistant to some vaccines than other variants, have dashed hopes of a swift recovery in tourism, a key part of South Africa’s economy. According to the World Bank, international tourist spending in the country typically amounts to around 2.5% of GDP. But as the chart shows, tourist arrivals ground to a halt between March and October last year. Although tourist numbers increased in November and December, they remain a fraction of normal levels.

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