South Africa’s tourism and hospitality sector is seeing signs of recovery with StatsSA reporting a second-consecutive month of growth, according to its Accommodation and Food and Beverage performance reports.

There is reason for optimism that the industry would enjoy continued growth and recovery as it heads into the festive season.

Says Rosemary Anderson, FEDHASA National Chairperson: “The hospitality industry is clawing its way back to being a viable industry once again, with businesses putting 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 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. 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 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,” says Anderson.

“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,” says 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,” concludes Anderson.

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tourism businessThe Capital Mbombela