JOHANNESBURG, March 28 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille said Tuesday that the first group of tourists from China since 2020 is expected to arrive at the OR Tambo international airport in Johannesburg on an Air China flight Wednesday.
"This flight marks a significant milestone as the first flight for group tour since the pandemic, which is of great importance to Chinese arrivals to South Africa," De Lille said at the media launch of the Africa Travel Indaba in Durban.
"China is the most promising source market for South Africa. Just before the pandemic, South Africa has received nearly 100,000 visitors from China. It is possible to push the number to 1,000,000 by 2030," she said.
South Africa's tourism sector is recovering as it has welcomed 5.7 million tourists last year, 152 percent higher than the previous year, according to the minister, who expressed optimism that they would get more tourists from China.
"The impact of Chinese tourists on the economy of South Africa will be positive and sustainable. For this reason, I will be working hard with our key stakeholders to remove key barriers such as airlift, visa and safety," De Lille said.