This report on the Accommodation Industry includes information on the size and state of the sector and the factors that influence it including the coronavirus crisis, travel and tourism statistics and trends, and corporate actions. There are profiles of 39 companies including Marriott International, the owner of Protea Hotels, which announced that it will stop operating some well-known South African Hotels, major players such as Sun International and Tsogo Sun, Moroccon-based Onomo, which is expanding its footprint on the African continent, and small players such as Cradle Boutique Hotel.
The Accommodation Industry
The tourism sector accounted for approximately 709,000 jobs in 2019. Income from accommodation grew by over 2% in 2019 despite a decline in international tourists. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, South Africa’s travel and tourism industry was facing challenges due to a weak economy, competition from neighbouring countries, safety and security issues and the water crisis. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns in most countries, 2020 will be devastating for the travel and tourism and accommodation sectors, with massive industry layoffs and consolidation taking place as foreign and inter-provincial travel stopped and as the industry effectively shut down.
Travel trends and Challenges
South Africa is a popular meetings, incentives, conferencing and events destination and travellers who combine leisure and business travel are a growing market. Wellness and medical tourism are popular, along with township and sports tourism. Government has implemented austerity measures, resulting in less travel for government employees. The quality of infrastructure and road networks, especially in rural areas, affects tourism growth while load-shedding affects tourism and the daily operations of accommodation establishments. The cancellation of international and domestic routes by South African Airways decreased demand for accommodation.
It is expected that international tourist arrivals will decrease by 58% to 78% in 2020. A recent survey indicated that a large percentage of accommodation businesses did not believe they would survive the pandemic. Significant retrenchments have already taken place. Many accommodation establishments are taking forward bookings for when the tourism industry opens up again.