Tourism and hospitality sector overview

KwaZulu-Natal makes waves

While Cape Town and the iconic Table Mountain tend to represent South Africa to most international tourists, awareness around the country’s east coast rose noticeably in 2018, with KZN taking four categories at the 2018 October’s World Travel Awards, known as the “Oscars” of global travel.

Durban ICC was crowned as Africa’s leading meetings and conference centre – for a 17th time – while Durban was named both Africa’s leading city destination and meetings and conference destination. The Port of Durban was also awarded. Adding to the city’s good year, the number of international arrivals at King Shaka International Airport rose by 2 000 during the first three months of 2018, compared to the same period previously.

Best to book early

According to PwC’s fifth edition of the Hospitality Outlook 2015–2019 report, the overall occupancy rate across all sectors in SA will continue to increase by 2019, seeing a rise to around 58.3% from 54.4% in 2014.

Nikki Forster, Hospitality Industry Leader for PwC: “The hotel occupancy rate reached its highest level in 2014, of 59% since 2008. The hotel occupancy rate is expected to increase to 62% by 2019 but still remain lower than the 68.4% achieved in 2008.” Five star hotels are expected to achieve a high of 80% occupancy in 2019, she added.

Key factors

Overall room revenue in South Africa is expected to expand at a 5.6% compound annual rate to R21.8-billion in 2022.

Growth is dependent on how well the local and global economy performs and grows over the next five years, although the outlook remains positive for South Africa.

International visitor numbers to South Africa continue to grow, despite challenges faced by the tourism industry. The total number of travelers in South Africa is expected to reach 19.5 million by 2022; a 4% compound annual increase from 16 million in 2017.

Setting the tone

According to travel advisory IHG, one of the key trends in travel is the creation of one-of-a-kind event spaces for non-traditional business gatherings. Three unique destinations to visit in Johannesburg:

  • InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers where tourists can experience an Imbizo – a unique traditional tribal gathering.
  • Crowne Plaza Johannesburg, The Rosebank is the ideal location for a meeting; it combines creative fun and flair with effective teamwork and goal-driven outcomes.
  • Holiday Inn Johannesburg is where wellness is not only a state of mind. Guests are invited to invent refreshing herbal teas from micro herbs, to create personalised and unique flavours.

  • Looking ahead: tourism’s decade

    GDP: direct contribution – Travel and tourism’s direct contribution to GDP is set to rise by 3.6% year-on-year until 2028.

    GDP: total contribution – The total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP is set to rise by 3.5% year-on-year to R598-billion, or 10.1% of GDP, by 2028.

    Employment: direct contribution – Travel and tourism’s direct contribution to job creation is expected to rise 2.9% year-on-year, resulting in 980 000 jobs by 2028.

    Visitor exports – Set to grow by 5.3% year-on-year until 2028, to reach R219-billion.

    Investment – Travel and tourism’s investment is set to rise 4.4% year-on-year over the next decade, to R112-billion by 2028