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Why visitors and tourists coming to Africa prefer Johannesburg and Cape Town over Lagos in 2016

The presence of many shopping malls, tourist destinations, exotic restaurants among others top the list.

According to the report, Johannesburg received 4.57 million international visitors in 2016. The city is followed by Cape Town and Lagos with 1.53 million and 1.04 million visitors in the same year.

Other African metropolitan cities in the top five rank include Casablanca (961,694 visitors), Cairo (820 959 visitors) and Durban (758 057 visitors).

Also, the report shows Johannesburg and Cape Town lead other African cities in the amount of money spent by visitors. For these cities, total visitors spend $2.56 billion in Johannesburg and $1.26 billion in Cape Town in 2016. Casablanca and Accra are other African cities with good visitors spending of $0.60 billion and $0.50 billion respectively.

More so, the report shows shopping activities accounted for the largest percentage of visitor's spend. Spending on accommodation and dining out are also top on their expenditure items.

Mr Anton van der Merwe, Head of Market Development at Mastercard, South Africa, says availability of many funfair and exotic locations made visitors prefer South African cities over others in the continent.

“The City of Gold  (Johannesburg) has shown the highest year-on-year growth in visitor numbers of all the African cities ranked in the 2016 index, illustrating that its mix of shopping, iconic attractions and tourism offerings is clearly hitting the mark with international travellers,” says Merwe.

The Mastercard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks the world’s top 132 destination cities based on visitor volume and amount spent. For the global report, Bangkok is the most visited city in the world with 19.4 million visitors in 2016. It is followed by London (19.06 million), Paris (15.45 million), Dubai (14.87 million) and Singapore (13.11 million).

The other African cities in the top ten are Accra, Dakar, Entebbe, Tunis and Nairobi in the successive order.

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