Tourism is set to boom with an upward trajectory in South Africa, according to industry-focused assurance, advisory and tax service provider PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) South Africa.
In their seventh annual report, Hospitality Outlook: 2017–2021, PwC’s team of hotel specialists looked at the hotel industry in South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius, Kenya and Tanzania. The report also covered key trends in the sector across the continent. Data was drawn from their analysis of Smith Travel Research (STR), local country data and from other sources on industry trends, including surveys.
Most notable is the forecasted revenue growth for the group of countries examined, which is set to increase from R39 billion in 2016 to R59.2 billion in 2021 at an 8.7% compound annual rate. Nigeria looks to be the fastest-growing tourism economy, with a projected 14.7% compound annual increase in revenue, while domestic tourism in South Africa will increase by 2.2% in 2017.
“One of the positive outcomes for the hotel market in South Africa was the amendment of visa requirements that required foreign visitors from certain countries to provide biometric data in person,” says PwC partner Pietro Calicchio.
“International visitor numbers to SA rebounded significantly in 2016, with a 12.8% increase compared to the 6.8% decrease in 2015.”
As the continent gears itself toward visa openness, countries that contributed the highest numbers of travellers to South Africa in 2016 were Zimbabwe at two million, Lesotho at 1.8 million and Mozambique at 1.3 million.
“The hotel market in each country is affected by both the local and global economy, with some countries being more dependent on foreign visitors than others,” says Calicchio. “We’re also seeing certain local governments continuing to invest in infrastructure and implementing other plans to unlock the substantial potential that this industry has to offer.”
Additional hotels will also increase, with South Africa having seen an increase of 12.2% to R15.8 billion in 2016 according to the report, which predicts growth at a compound annual rate of 0.9% over the next five years – 55% of which will be in Cape Town. The city generated the highest tourist numbers in 2016. Five-star hotels in particularly will expand at an 11.4% compound annual rate to R4.2 billion in 2021 from R2.4 billion in 2016.