May 23, 2018 Last Updated 11:11 AM, May 23, 2018

Johannesburg is Africa’s most popular destination city

joburg skylineABNABN - Johannesburg is the most popular destination city in Africa, according to 2016 visitor statistics collated in the annual Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index.

South Africa’s biggest city by population topped the rankings ahead of the country’s legislative capital Cape Town after welcoming 4.57 million international overnight visitors last year, a rise of 24% in just one year.

However, Cape Town did rise from third place in 2015 to become the second most visited city on the continent in 2016, after 1.52 million tourists flocked to the region.

Nigeria’s Lagos came in third place with visitor numbers reaching just over one million, while North African cities Casablanca and Cairo completed the top five African cities.

Johannesburg also topped Mastercard’s rankings in Africa for international visitor expenditure, as travellers splashed out a total of US$2.56 billion over the year.

"The city of gold has shown the highest year-on-year growth in visitor numbers of all the African cities ranked in the 2016 index‚ illustrating that its mix of shopping‚ iconic attractions and tourism offerings is clearly hitting the mark with international travellers‚" said Anton van der Merwe‚ head of market development at Mastercard SA.


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