Legions flocking to SA


JOHANNESBURG, June 16- About 110,000 foreign visitors came to South Africa for the opening days of the World Cup, organisers said Wednesday, with a similar number of South Africans also returning from overseas.Foreign arrivals were up by about one third compared to the first part of June last year, with the increase believed to be largely World Cup fans, said Rich Mkhondo, spokesman for the local organising committee.

A total of 456,000 foreigners visited the country from June 1-13, up from about 345,000 during the same period last year, Mkhondo told a press conference.

"This increase for 2010 can be clearly attributed to the FIFA World Cup," he said.

The home affairs ministry also indicated that a large number of South Africans returned from overseas for the games.

About 140,000 additional South Africans entered the country compared to the same period in June last year, it said in a statement.

The ministry said arrivals were expected to keep rising as the tournament continues.

"We are quite sure that this figure will continue increasing as the World Cup progresses," it said.

South Africa expects a total of 300,000 foreign visitors during the four-week tournament, down from an initial forecast of 450,000