Holiday bookings getting back on track in SA — survey

2015-04-22 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Following a dip in ­holiday bookings after the 2008 economic downturn, it seems like South Africa’s tourist accommodation industry is slowly but surely getting back on track.

According to a recent survey conducted by Stats SA, total income for the ­tourist accommodation industry ­increased by 3,7% in February 2015 ­compared with February 2014.

The survey is conducted monthly and straddles a sample of public and private enterprises involved in the short-stay accommodation industry, with the results used to compile estimates of tourism ­satellite accounts, as well as the gross ­domestic product.

In February 2015, caravan parks and camping sites were the type of accommodation that recorded the highest year-on-year growth rates at 7,5%. In December 2014 guesthouses and guestfarms also featured, showing a 18,3% growth rate in income and caravan parks and camping sites, 16,7%.

A similar survey conducted by IAB.SA confirmed this trend, showing a strong preference for self-catering stays at 58%, followed by 42% choosing to stay in B&Bs and guesthouses, with hotel stays coming in third with 37%.

Nicolette Kruger, country manager at NFS Technology — a company supplying range of software solutions for the hospitality and video conferencing industries — said that the positive growth in income from tourist accommodation showed that the hospitality industry “might finally be shrugging off” the hangover of the 2008 financial markets meltdown, which precipitated a global recession.

“The figures are looking promising and we are certainly noting a fair amount of positivity among our client base in South Africa and abroad.”

Despite all this, domestic tourism stats indicate that South Africans are ­doing less travelling, with 2013 figures showing 200 000 fewer South Africans travelled than in 2012.

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