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Tourism Print E-mail
20 December 2009

Events such as Soccerex are also tourist drawcards

SOUTH AFRICA’S attraction as a tourism destination is well documented.

However in addition to traditional tourism activities, Joburg is gearing itself up to attract other forms of tourism:

  • business and events tourism
  • shopping tourism, including cross-border trade
  • sporting tourism; and
  • medical tourism

Business and events tourism
Joburg is the shopping mecca in Sub-Saharan Africa
Joburg is the shopping mecca in Sub-Saharan Africa
The City is a favourite when hosting international events and conferences in Africa. For example, in 2009 the City hosted the 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture, the first time the Summit was held in a developing country. 

Over 50 percent of all trade shows and exhibitions in South Africa take place in Joburg.  All these events have a positive spin-off for the retail trade as well.

Shopping tourism
Joburg is the shopping mecca for Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 80 shopping centres.  Visitors coming to South Africa for other reasons, such as medical procedures, often combine cross-border travelling with shopping. 

In 2009 Joburg launched an annual month-long Joburg Shopping Festival, with discounts of up to 50 percent, stimulating growth in the retail sector and encouraging investment.

The objective is to turn Joburg into Africa’s shopping hub, placing it in the same league as recognised global shopping nodes like Bangkok, Dubai and Hong Kong.

Opportunities for retail, transport and hospitality sectors are expected to arise from this annual festival.

Joburg’s retail sector generates approximately ZAR190-billion a year and boasts an investment rate of over ZAR 20-billion.

Sporting tourism
Joburg plays host to major sporting events
Joburg plays host to major sporting events

Joburg is undoubtedly Africa’s sporting capital, hosting major international and continental events across a variety of sports. Joburg is set to host the opening and final matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup at its rebuilt soccer stadia, which incorporate state-of-the-art technology, architecture and eco-friendly features.

Our stadia, including Ellis Park (now known as Coca-Cola Park), Soccer City, with a seating capacity of 94 700 and the Wanderers Cricket Stadium are world-class.

Not only is Joburg’s weather ideal for hosting big sporting events but the City has an outstanding reputation regarding the flexibility and excellence of its sports management and facilities.

This capability is reflected in our hosting of the 2nd edition of IPL 2009 cricket at short notice due to security reasons on India, as well as the world Twenty20 2009 cricket competition at the last minute.

Medical tourism

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Medical tourism
Joburg’s attraction as a centre of medical excellence offering high-quality, value-for-money services is growing rapidly. Joburg offers high standards of treatment and specialised surgery services, without long waiting periods, and at a fraction of the cost of similar treatment in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States.

Currently, the highest percentage of medical visitors are from neighbouring African countries, including employees of multinational companies.

Other sectors such as tourism and retail benefit as medical travel is often combined with shopping and leisure travel.

For more information on opportunities and projects within this sector, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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Last Updated on 19 February 2010