Stats SA released figures this week on the international arrivals to SA for the period November 2020 to November 2021 with Stats SA reporting a 172,7% increase in tourist arrivals to the country during this period. “South Africa was on such a positive growth trajectory over last year, is it is so disheartening that we were red-listed at the end of November 2021, due to the news of the Omicron variant which was reported to have emanated from South Africa and our neighbours. Had this not happened, tourism in South Africa would have had a major rebound.” Says Rosemary Anderson, FEDHASA National Chairperson.
“The ten leading overseas countries in terms of the number of tourists visiting South Africa in November 2021 were Germany (17,5%), the United Kingdom (15,4%), the United States of America (14,3%), the Netherlands (6,5%), France (6,1%), Switzerland (3,7%), India (3,2%), Belgium, (2,6%), the Russian Federation (2,4%), and Canada (2,2%).
This, together with the support of the South African public, ensured that in November 2021 all accommodation types recorded positive year-on-year growth in income, it is such a pity that this all marvelous inbound international tourism came tumbling down at the end of November 2021.
A separate report released by Stats SA on Tourism Accommodation revealed that the total income for the tourist accommodation industry increased by 83,6% in November 2021 compared with November 2020. Income from accommodation increased by 60,5% year-on-year in November 2021, the result of a 34,8% increase in the number of stay unit nights sold and a 19,1% increase in the average income per stay unit night sold.
Positive contributors to the 60,5% year-on-year increase in income from accommodation were: hotels, other accommodation, and guesthouses and guest farms.
In November 2021, the total income generated by the food and beverages industry increased by 15,1%, compared with the previous year. The largest annual growth rate was recorded for food sales (17,4%), while the main contributors to the 15,1% year-on-year increase were takeaway and fast-food outlets and restaurants and coffee shops.
“FEDHASA has maintained that our tourism and hospitality sector have tremendous growth potential to make a significant dent in our totally unacceptable unemployment levels in South Africa, particularly the youth. All we require is for Home Affairs to waiver visas for a number of key markets and to introduce a true eVisa system – not an online system, which is currently being developed. This would enable us to attract millions of more international tourists to our magnificent shores, and in turn, would create many hundreds of thousands of new jobs in our sector.” concludes Anderson.