SA tourism sector soars, but travellers urged to comply with regulations to avoid any restrictions
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South Africa's tourism and hospitality sector is showing signs of recovery with Stats South Africa reporting a second consecutive month of growth in its Accommodation and Food and Beverage performance reports.
Rosemary Anderson, Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (Fedhasa) national chairperson, said the hospitality industry is clawing its way back to being a viable industry, but urged travellers to continue to comply with regulations.
"Business has put in significant capital to market themselves in an effort to secure these increases. This, together with the support of the South African public and growing international tourism arrivals, have ensured that in September 2021, all accommodation types recorded positive year-on-year growth in income.
“The largest positive month-on-month growth rates were recorded for guest houses and guest farms (30.3%), hotels (21.5%) and other accommodation (19.4%)," she said.
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. The largest annual growth rate was recorded for food sales (27.1%). In September 2021, the main contributors to the 23.4% year-on-year increase were restaurants and coffee shops, as well as takeaway and fast-food outlets.
“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. It is our fervent appeal to the government to use all other measures available to stem a possible wave as shutting down the hospitality sector this year as many hospitality businesses would be catastrophic,” said Anderson.
She said consistency remained a vital key to the survival of the hospitality industry.
"Ever-changing regulations dampen demand. While we recognise and are committed to supporting the government in its efforts to fight Covid, we also understand that it is largely in the hands of ordinary South Africans to vaccinate and adhere to the health and hygiene protocols.
“This will go a long way in safeguarding the positive trajectory the hospitality industry is seeing," she added.