Tourists in SA smiling all the way

2014-01-19 07:16
LOVELY: A scenic photograph of Sea Point in Cape Town.(Supplied)

LOVELY: A scenic photograph of Sea Point in Cape Town.(Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Cape Town
    The story told in these pages is both immensely readable and endlessly interesting, and is sure to... Now R399.00
    buy now

Cape Town - Clutching shopping bags, quaffing wine, and lounging on pristine beaches: South Africa's weak rand is drawing few complaints from foreign tourists who these days get more bang for their tourist bucks.

The teetering rand, a victim of ongoing emerging market volatility, is tipped to remain on the back foot after hitting a fresh five-year low of around 10.87 against the US dollar.

The plunge comes as tourists flock to Cape Town -- named as the world's top place to visit in 2014 by The New York Times -- for the peak southern hemisphere summer season armed with hard currency.

"From a visitor perspective, it all bodes well for international visitors coming to Cape Town," said Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy.

Foreigners spent an estimated $1.2 billion (R12.7bn) last year in the city and the industry is already pointing to a rosier season.

Official figures for December are still being tallied but feedback from hotels, tour operators and restaurants is that things look "a lot better" than the previous summer.

So cheap!

"If you look at our key source markets - UK, US, Germany, Netherlands - the exchange rate is in the favour of those travellers," said Duminy.

"Which is great news for us which means that we become a lot more affordable for a lot more people wanting to leave Europe or the US."

While recent market darlings, emerging economy currencies like South Africa have been hammered by moves in the US Federal Reserve to ease its stimulus package.

Added to this are domestic challenges such as sizeable twin deficits and spending needs, after a run of turbulent strikes.

"It's largely a global story of which South African characteristics play a part and certainly the depreciating trend is strong," said Peter Kent, portfolio manager at Investec Asset Management.

"We wouldn't be surprised to see it depreciate some more but on a sort of medium term horizon I would expect some stability, possibly a small rally."

Wine sales up

In the meantime tourists like Norwegian Vidar Woldengen, 47, are getting a welcome surprise.

"When people in Europe find out, I'm sure they will bring their money here as soon as they find out because I was really surprised," he said while browsing a popular African craft market.

"Now they can afford it."

Foreign arrivals were up by 14.5% year on year in November and hotels are reporting strong occupancy rates.

For the area's famed wine farms, the exchange rate is a boost but long-term impacts are also being eyed.

The rand helped winemakers smash exports records in 2013, with volumes leaving the country up 26%.

The country's oldest surviving estate Groot Constantia, hugely popular with tourists, exports 60% of its wine and sells a further 20% through its tasting room and restaurants.

Long term plans

"The effect of the weak rand now benefits us in the short term in terms of income but in the long term, it's going nail us in terms of input costs," said Jean Naude, general manager.

Others agree the long term impact of the weak rand is still to be seen.

"It does help with bang for buck but it's a small component of the decision making," said Rey Franco, manager of the Victoria & Alfred Hotel at the popular Waterfront shopping and restaurant hub.

"The feedback I've heard mostly from guests is 'wow, it's so cheap here', and that goes back to the fact that currency plays a factor in variable spending but it's not the decision maker when it comes to travel."


Read more on:    cape town  |  travel and leisure  |  tourism
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Oscar's date with destiny

2014-10-20 21:02
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
77 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding

Learn some great skills that will help your riding on the road and on the track.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips on how to set your fitness goals
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be spending too much time organising and trying to control things to make sure everything is perfect instead of just...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.