Tourism suffers R600m natural disasters loss

2013-03-26 10:54
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.Johannesburg - Floods in Mpumalanga in January 2012, a number of significant hail storms in Gauteng during October and November and a devastating fire in St Francis Bay in November 2012 have seen an increase in catastrophe claims made in the last year, says South Africa’s largest short-term insurer Santam.

In 2012 Santam paid catastrophe claims of almost R400 million - more than three times the average registered by the group over the past 12 years.
 
“Last year was especially terrible in terms of losses incurred as a result of floods. The Hoedspruit area in the Northern Province was hard hit by floods in January 2012. KZN and the Eastern Cape also suffered catastrophic flood losses towards the end of the year," said John Fitzpatrick, Managing Director for Santam's Hospitality and Leisure sector.

"The total loss affecting the hospitality industry was in the region of R600 million.

"Risk management for businesses in the immensely diverse and dynamic tourism, hospitality and leisure sector is not an easy task. For any business operating in this extensive industry, part of the formula of ensuring success includes taking special care of the potential risks that could possibly devastate the commercial viability of a business.

“Elements such as changing weather patterns and government regulations such as the consumer protection Act must all be factored in for clients specialising within the sector. The biggest challenge however is to underpin all the associated risk challenges for each client, ensuring that they have the correct protection is in place." he said.

South Africa's many natural resources and heritage sites act as a large tourism draw card earning the country a 17th place ranking for its natural resources and 58th place ranking for its cultural resource in the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Report for 2013. With the Department of Tourism pushing to increase the tourism sector's contribution to the economy to R499 billion by 2020, including the creation of 225 000 new jobs, the severity of catastrophic events can sorely impact this aim warned Fitzpatrick.
Read more on:    santam  |  travel south africa

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