Tourism’s economic Indicators

2016-05-26 06:00

THE initial draft of a study by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) has provided us with some interesting economic indicators for our tourism sector here.

According to TKZN the South Coast hosted in the region of 1.172 million domestic visitor trips and about 61.4 thousand international tourists. Of economic importance is that the overall impact is suggested as about R4.4 billion and is about 16.2% of the total tourism economy of our province.

My own assessment pegged our tourism economy in the region of R3 billion so it comes as a pleasant surprise that the TKZN research team have calculated a more positive figure.

The majority of domestic trips (54%) are to visit friends and relatives (VFR) and 37% visit for holiday purposes.

Of the total trips made by international and domestic visitors, the VFR spend ranges between R777.6 million and R1.01 billion. A significant number of such visitors can be ascribed to VFR in our rural areas as well.

The holiday related spend is in the region of between R506.6 million and R1.01 billion albeit that many VFR visitors can also ascribe their visit as part holiday as well. We cannot underestimate business tourism value which is collectively indicated as having a value of R446 million.

These are not trivial indicators for our local economy and as such we as an organisation will strive to assist in the growth of our tourism sector albeit we are living in pressured economic times.

We can also utilise these indicators in providing prospective investors with information to assist them in their decision making. More investment will translate into more jobs in the tourism and leisure sector.

If one takes the rough calculation that there are about six jobs for every R1 million spend, then in terms of direct­, indirect and induced spend, some 26 000 jobs rely directly and indirectly on the tourism and leisure sector­.

The tourism economy is a vital cog in the multilayered economy here and is incumbent on all of us to retain its reputation and integrity among our tourists and visitors.

The TKZN figures suggest we are a bigger economy than anticipated and that tourism, business taxes and related rates are an important contributor towards the state coffers as well - tourism is thus an important element of our economic value chain.

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