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Travel & Tourism: Travel Agencies, Tour Operators and Related Services
The direct contribution of travel and tourism to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was R136.1bn, or 2.9% in 2017. Including indirect benefits, its contribution was 8.9%. Travel and tourism investment in South Africa amounted to R71bn, or 8.2% of total investment in the country, while foreign visitor spending and international tourism receipts generated around R126.7bn. Identified as one of the main drivers of employment and economic growth, the industry provided over 4.4% of South Africa’s total workforce in 2016.
A Changing Industry
In recent years, the industry has experienced disruption with the growth of internet travel portals offering consumers direct bookings. The industry continues to be disrupted by social buying networks that offer substantially discounted rates, as well as platforms such as Airbnb.The industry is highly exposed to domestic and external macroeconomic, political, geopolitical, social and climatic factors. Crime, natural disasters and exchange rate volatility also affect travel and tourism. The severe water crisis in the Western Cape, devastating fires around Knysna and the outbreak of Listeriosis affected travel in 2017. Contentious visa regulations which had a significant negative effect on tourism, were amended, easing some of the challenges ravellers to South Africa experienced.
The report focuses on travel agencies, tour operators and related services and investigates current conditions, recent developments and factors influencing the success of the sector. The report profiles 39 companies including Tourvest, a leading player in the sector, which manages over 50% of South Africa’s corporate travel arrangements and has a portfolio of around 60 brands. It also profiles HRG Rennies Travel, a subsidiary of the Bidvest Group, one of the leading travel management companies in Africa, Cullinan Holdings, which includes Thompsons Holidays, and Protea Hotels, City Lodge and Tsogo Sun, the top-selling accommodation brands in the domestic segment. Profiles include Travellingcheapskates, which specialises in custom-made travel packages for people on tight budgets and Lebo’s Soweto, and Siviwe Tours, which offer tours of Soweto in Johannesbug and Langa in Cape Town.