South Africa’s tourism and hospitality sector is seeing signs of recovery with Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) reporting a second-consecutive month of growth. This recovery can only be maintained if festive season restrictions are not imposed, warned FEDHASA.
Statistics for the tourist accommodation industry show that, measured in nominal terms (current prices), total income for the sector grew by 56.9% in September 2021 compared to September 2020.
This is the result of a 62% increase in the number of stay unit nights sold and a 7.6% increase in the average income per stay unit night sold.
The largest positive month-on-month growth rates were recorded for guesthouses and guest farms (30.3%), hotels (21.5%) and other accommodation (19.4%).
StatsSA’s Food and Beverages’ key report for September 2021 shows that the total income generated by the industry increased by 23.4% in September 2021 compared with September 2020.
Based on this, there is reason for optimism that the industry would enjoy continued growth and recovery as it heads into the festive season. However, cautions FEDHASA National Chairperson Rosemary Anderson, this upward trajectory will only continue if the industry is not hamstrung by renewed regulations such as those imposed over last year’s festive season.
She reiterated a “fervent appeal” to government to use all other measures available to stem a possible wave as shutting down the hospitality sector this year as many hospitality businesses try to return to some level of financial stability would be catastrophic.
“Consistency remains key to the survival of the hospitality industry. Ever-changing regulations dampen demand and while we recognise and are committed to supporting Government in its efforts to fight COVID, we also understand that it is largely in the hands of ordinary South Africans who we urge to get vaccinated and adhere to the health and hygiene protocols to reduce pressure on our healthcare system,” said Anderson.
“This will go a long way in safeguarding the positive trajectory the hospitality industry is seeing as government will not be required to impose restrictions that will hamper operations and prevent us from staying open, securing livelihoods and retaining jobs at the time of year when we are busiest.”