The Travel & Tourism report focuses on travel agencies, tour operators and related services within the broader context of the South African Travel and Tourism industry, and investigates current conditions, recent developments and factors influencing the success of the sector. The report profiles 36 companies including major players, Tourvest Integrated Tourism Group which has a diverse portfolio of 67 brands, and the largest travel agency group in the country, Flight Centre South Africa, which is a member of the Australian Stock Exchange-listed Flight Centre Travel Group. Also profiled are HRG Rennies Travel, a subsidiary of Bidvest Group, and Cullinan Holdings whose travel and tourism brands include Pentravel, Thompsons Holidays and Springbok Atlas Tours and Safaris.
Travel & Tourism: Travel Agencies, Tour Operators and Related Services
South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) identifies Tourism as one of the main drivers of employment and economic growth. The domestic travel and tourism industry supports more than 1.4 million jobs across the entire value chain, with travel agencies and related reservation services providing over 30,000 direct jobs. With annual internal expenditure on travel agencies and similar reservation services amounting to more than R9bn, this segment is a significant contributor to the South African economy and is a valuable source of foreign currency.
A changing Industry
The traditional divide between the retail and wholesale segments of the travel industry has become increasingly blurred. At the same time, with the uptake of digitisation, consumers are bypassing the middle man and making their own holiday and travel arrangements. Although some traditional role players in the view internet-based travel sites as a threat, a significant number of tour operators and travel agents have embraced online technologies as a means to expand the scope of their operations. Stakeholders believe however that one of the most significant threats facing the industry is the increasing power of social buying networks that sell travel packages and tourism products at substantially discounted rates.