South Africa's minister of tourism says his country's high crime rate could deter visitors planning to come to the 2010 football World Cup
Marthinus van Schalkwyk said research showed one-third of potential visitors cited crime as a reason for not travelling to South Africa.
The country has more than 19,000 murders and 400,000 assaults a year.
By 2010, it aims to attract hundreds of thousands more tourists to the country and will recruit 30,000 more police.
In 2006, the number of tourists went up by one million to 8.4 million and the government hopes more than 10 million will visit in World Cup year - 2010.
"Crime is, therefore, an issue we as industry have to deal with if we want to reach our target," Mr van Schalkwyk told the national meeting of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry.
The latest annual crime statistics showed a rise in the number of murders and aggravated robberies even though overall crime rates were falling.
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