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Popularity of South African holidays continues to grow

Record amounts of people took a holiday in South Africa last year, with visitor numbers increasing by 3.3 per cent.

Tourism chiefs in the country had thought the original record set in 2010 would be difficult to surpass, as figures were swelled because the nation held the Fifa World Cup.

However, new statistics released this week (April 12th) have shown that 8,339,354 international travellers went to South Africa in 2011.

Minister of tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk believes that holding the football showpiece helped raise the profile of the country all around the world.

The huge amount of coverage that the event received encouraged people to visit places like Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

"We used it [World Cup] as a catalyst to work even harder to sustain that tourism growth… and to tap into the potential of new tourism markets," he remarked.

The fact that Cape Town's Table Mountain has been named as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World has also given South Africa a lot of exposure.