China has become South Africa’s seventh biggest source market, displacing Australia, according to stats released by Statistics SA on Monday.

South Africa’s top 10 source markets for the year were the UK with 447 840 arrivals; US, 345 013; Germany, 311 832; France, 154 226; The Netherlands, 147 973; China, 116 946; Australia, 109 146; India, 95 377; Canada, 61 179; and Italy, 60 774.

All of the top 10 source markets experienced growth for 2016. Year-to-date, arrivals from France were up 20%; Germany, up 22%; The Netherlands, up 21%; the UK, up 10%; Canada, up 9%; the US, up 16%; Italy, up 16%; Australia, up 10%; China, up 38%; and India, up 22%.

The country received a total of 2 531 046 overseas arrivals for 2016. For 2016, total arrivals surpassed the 10 million mark with 10 044 163 arrivals. Overseas arrivals to South Africa are up 18% and total arrivals are up 13% year-to-date compared with the same period in 2015.

“The spectacular growth in tourist arrivals indicates that the close collaboration between various government departments, between the Department of Tourism and industry, and between suppliers and service providers on the ground has paid off,” said Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom. “We have done well to capitalise on our status as a value for money destination, offering an array of experiences for all tourist markets.”

Germany and the US both experienced growth for December. Arrivals from Germany were up 15%, and arrivals from the US were up 9%. However, arrivals from the UK were down 2% during December. Total arrivals year-to-date were 311 832 from Germany, 345 013 from the US and 447 840 from the UK.

Brazil and India also experienced growth in December, while China saw a decline. Arrivals from Brazil are up 113%, India is up 4% and China is down 7%. Total arrivals year-to-date were 38 814 from Brazil, 95 377 from India, and 116 946 from China.

Arrivals from France also experienced significant growth, up 30% with a total of 13 952 for December.