Families opting for cheaper holidays

2008-03-16 00:00

Holiday-makers are increasingly turning to cheaper accommodation options as rising inflation and interest rates begin to eat into their purchasing power, the latest national tourist accommodation statistics for the fourth quarter of 2007 suggest.

In the process, guest-houses, guest-farms and other lower-priced establishments recorded a healthy 46% year-on-year rise in income from accommodation during the fourth quarter of 2007.

The figures are contained within a monthly survey covering a sample of enterprises involved in the short-stay accommodation industry in South Africa.

The national statistics correlate with recent statistics on the impressive performance of smaller venues (B&Bs and guestlodges) in KwaZulu-Natal over the 2007 festive period.

Last month, officials in the province said that visitors are increasingly opting for more independent accommodation establishments.

This trend is particularly interesting given the fact that hotel occupancies for the bigger hotel groups were recorded at about 71,3%, slightly down on 2006 figures.

The South African tourism industry performed relatively well during the final quarter of last year, given the general consumer slowdown.

Overall, the statistics reveal that income from accommodation rose by 19,1% year on year during the final quarter of 2007.

Hotels are still the major contributor to the increase of 19,1% in accommodation income.

The overall performance of KZN as a tourist destination during the 2007 festive season was on par with 2006 festive season.

kavith@witness.co.za

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