SOURCE: Tours.com

Tours.com

May 21, 2012 15:51 ET

Travel to South Africa Thriving Despite Sluggish World Economy; USA Visitors Edging Out Europe; Tours.com's Travel-Intel Investigates

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - May 21, 2012) - Travel to South Africa from the USA is on the rise, just behind the UK and growing still, according to figures released at the Indaba 2012 travel expo in Durban, South Africa this month. South Africa's Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk told reporters at this year's Africa travel show that South Africa expects to nearly double the number of international arrivals by 2020 from 8.3 million to 15 million.

Indaba is Africa's largest and most important travel conference, held annually in Durban, South Africa since 1979. This year was no exception as 2,000 exhibitors of travel products, mostly in South and East Africa, showed what's new and noteworthy for travel to the continent. Travel-Intel was there and reveals findings in the May 15 issue.

South African Airways told reporters at this year's gathering that plans are on target for expansion -- a five-year plan calls for the delivery of 22 A320s and six A330-200s -- despite what CEO Siza Mzimela calls the worst era ever for the airline business. Travel-Intel interviews SAA's Executive Vice President for North America, Todd Neuman, about SAA's plans and future.

Travel-Intel's all Africa May 15 issue also looks at Durban as a sleeper destination for tourism with its business hotels, extensive beach walk refurbishments and new developments following the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Similarly, Travel-Intel presents options for wonderful wine country drives as day trips from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth on the southernmost coast. An interview with the US marketing representative from Rovos Rail shows the privately owned, 1920s luxury Pullman train company based in Cape Town is preparing a Cape Town to Cairo itinerary for 2014 that will take in all the sights and wildlife Africa can offer in by-gone style with three-week rail journeys through the continent.

Travel-Intel sends its reporters around the world to get the latest news in travel first hand, by visiting the great cities of the world, testing the products and interviewing the people behind the emerging trends in travel. This month Travel-Intel travels to South Africa, Ethiopia and Thailand to see what these destinations have in store for visitors.

Tours.com's Travel-Intel is a newsletter that goes out twice a month to the travel industry to keep more than 100,000 North American travel agents and travel sellers up on what's happening in the constantly changing world of travel.

Recent issues of Travel-Intel have looked at the changing trends in the cruise, hospitality and airline industries, and featured destination close-ups.

The May 1 issue archives, which can be viewed at www.travel-intel.com, examined the dark side of tourism and what happens when trips go bad. That issue also featured the odd destination of Jeju Island in South Korea to find theme parks made of glass and museums devoted to teddy bears and tea.

All issues of Travel-Intel are posted on Tours.com for those seeking answers through Tours.com's comprehensive directory of tour companies and travel information.

"Travel is a constantly changing business. We try to keep up with what is happening by being on the scene and talking to the influencers so we can get the news out to travel agents, the people who need it most," says Lark Ellen Gould, content director for Travel-Intel and Tours.com.

Gould, a veteran travel journalist who has been covering the travel industry for more than 20 years, brings her incisive perspective to the publication and emails it on the 1st and 15th of each month to more than 100,000 travel agents in the US and Canada, before posting the travelzine on Tours.com. Travel-Intel also partners with CanadaScope and Britain Magazine for added access and information.

About Tours.com: Tours.com is the Official Directory of Tours & Vacations Worldwide. On-line since 1995, Tours.com has a deep and searchable database of tour and vacation companies searchable by company name, destination and/or activity. Also a one-stop resource for major Travel Channels such as travel insurance, passport & visa information, major travel booking sites by categories such as hotels, air, cars, cruises, barges, yachts & ferries, railroad & rail travel, etc. plus all other pertinent travel categories/channels. The Find a Travel Agent search field allows one to search for travel agents certified with in-depth knowledge in their chosen specialty. For more information visit www.tours.com

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