Cape Town city SA flag XXX  Picture: THINKSTOCK

ALMOST 3-million travellers are reported to have passed through South African ports of entry in August, suggesting that the country still ranks highly as a tourist destination compared to its African counterparts.

Statistics South Africa figures released on Monday showed that a total of 2.9-million travellers, both arrivals and departures, passed through ports of entry in August. However, this was lower compared to the 3-million travellers recorded in July.

The travellers in August consisted of 802,000 South African residents and 2.1-million foreign travellers.

The majority of tourists (over 708,000) were in the country for holidays, compared to only 14,500 who were in South Africa for business purposes and 5,800 who were in the country for study purposes.

Foreign tourists came mainly from the Middle East, followed by those from North, Central, and South America, Australasia, Europe, and Asia.

There was a higher proportion of tourists from Asia and the Middle East in South Africa for business purposes compared to other overseas regions.

A comparison between the movements in August this year and August last year indicated that the volumes of arrivals and departures decreased for South African residents, while volumes increased for foreign travellers.

Road transport continued to be the most common mode of travel, which was used by 2.1-million out of 2.9-million travellers.