Tourism in Eswatini

Eswatini recorded a total of 345,300 tourists in 2020, ranking 144th in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller countries regularly perform lower in a comparison of the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Eswatini, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.29 tourists per resident, Eswatini ranked 79th in the world. In Southern Africa, it ranked 3rd.

In 2020, Eswatini generated around 7.30 million US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 0.15 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 0 percent of all international tourism receipts in Southern Africa.

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Back to overview: Eswatini

On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2020 spent about 20 US dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of Eswatini spend as much as 71 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Development of the tourism sector in Eswatini from 1995 to 2020

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Eswatini each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g., crew members of ships or flights are also not considered tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 5 countries in Southern Africa.

Tourists per year in Eswatini

Revenues from tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 54.00 million USD, or about 3.2 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 300,000 tourists at that time and roughly 180 USD per person. Within 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has decreased substantially. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales were $14.30 million billion, 0.32 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $twelve on their vacation in Eswatini.

In 2020, tourist receipts plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $14.30 million billion (2019), only $7.30 million billion remained. This is a 49 percent decrease in Eswatini.

Tourism receipts in Eswatini per year

All data for Eswatini in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
2020345,299.997.30 m $0.18 %21 $
20191.23 m14.30 m $0.32 %12 $
20181.28 m16.40 m $0.35 %13 $
20171.34 m13.20 m $0.30 %10 $
20161.28 m13.20 m $0.35 %10 $
20151.26 m14.20 m $0.35 %11 $
20141.33 m15.60 m $0.35 %12 $
20131.30 m4.20 m $0.091 %3 $
20121.28 m29.10 m $0.60 %23 $
20111.33 m10.10 m $0.21 %8 $
20101.34 m51.40 m $1.2 %38 $
20091.34 m40.10 m $1.1 %30 $
20081.19 m26.30 m $0.80 %22 $
20071.23 m32.20 m $0.93 %26 $
20061.20 m75.10 m $2.3 %63 $
20051.18 m77.30 m $2.4 %65 $
2004459,00075.10 m $2.7 %164 $
20031.54 m70.04 m $3.2 %45 $
20021.37 m45.00 m $3.1 %33 $
20011.31 m23.00 m $1.5 %18 $
20001.15 m24.00 m $1.4 %21 $
19991.25 m15.00 m $0.97 %12 $
1998986,00051.00 m $3.2 %52 $
19971.64 m44.00 m $2.6 %27 $
19961.34 m42.00 m $2.6 %31 $
1995300,00054.00 m $3.2 %180 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The World Tourism Organization additionally points out that in some countries, the number of tourists is only counted at airports, while in others they are also counted at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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