South African tourism stung by anti-immigrant violence




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By Stella Mapenzauswa

JOHANNESBURG,- South Africa’ industry is likely to a hit following a wave xenophobic attacks this month, a setback for the country which has worked hard to clean up its image as a hub for violent crime.

Seven people have been killed the attacks, which mostly targeted African immigrants. Police and soldiers have brought the unrest under control but the damage may already have been done for the sector, which supports one 12 jobs.

— officially running at 25 percent, but which economists say is much higher — is one factor blamed for the attacks foreigners.

The successful hosting the 2010 World Cup helped improve South Africa’ reputation for violence but graphic images armed gangs attacking immigrants and looting foreign-owned shops have revived fears that may put off potential visitors.

“(The attacks) are damaging to the brand that we are marketing, damaging to the reputation of the country,” said Thulani Nzima, CEO of South African .

*(Reuters)*