I thought that the article highlighted a number of pertinent points for both the tourist as well as the travel industry professional (article follows further below):
Prices in South Africa for accommodation establishments have decreased.
There are excellent 'pay-stay deals' being offered with many of the accommodation establishments not only in South Africa, but throughout Africa and particularly at the Indian Ocean Island lodges, where long stay deals are readily available.
Always ask your travel specialist if the hotel/lodge within your travel itinerary is running any type of deal, particularly now that we have entered the 'Green Season' in South Africa for destinations like Cape Town and the Garden Route.
There are a number of 'pay-stay' deals that we regularly promote to our clients – these are a few of the 'good one's'
The Mantis portfolio of properties, which we also like because most of their hotels and guest houses are small and intimate -
Stay 2 nights at any of the Mantis game lodges (Shamwari, Jock or Sanbona) and get 3 nights completely free at any of their accommodation in Cape Town, the Winelands or on the Garden Route.
This is a fantastic deal as the Mantis portfolio is 5 star and the properties are well located in the tourist hot spots of South Africa.
Mantis have also introduced a fabulous South African Safari Wedding deal at their Shamwari Game Reserve as well -
Book 3 nights and get your ** WEDDING FOR FREE ** i.e. minister, cake, bridal bouquet & grooms button hole, massage for wedding couple, manicure for bride, sole use of game vehicle on day … and so on!
We'll have this package up soon on our website as we co-ordinate and assist many brides (and grooms) with their wedding and honeymoon arrangements – it's our speciality.
The More Hotels are gorgeous properties in outstanding locations and their deal is –
Stay 3 nights at any of their safari lodges (Lion Sands, Tinga or Madikwe Hills) and get 2 free nights at either of their Cape Town Hotels (Cape Cadogan or More Quarters).
Azanzi Beach Hotel in exotic Zanzibar is offering a Stay 7 Pay 6 night special and they also throw in the return airport transfers. We particularly mention this property as the entire package rate (which is fully inclusive of meals and drinks) offers excellent value for money.
These specials however, are not isolated to the 'hotel groups' that have a number of properties in their stable, even the individual guest houses and hotels are offering attractive deals to patrons -
Abbey Manor Luxury Guest House, simply because this is such a lovely property, at a good price and service levels are phenomenal – Stay for 4 nights and only pay for 3.
Note: Pay-Stay deals may apply to specific validities.
THE GRANT THORNTON ARTICLE FOLLOWS
I can understand the frustration of the tourism industry when they read and hear in the media that arrival foreign arrival figures are up yet they are not experiencing an increase in occupancies. The reasons for this are multiple and depend, to a greater or lesser extent, on where a tourism business is located and which market it is targeting.
As I see it, the answer lies in an amalgamation of the following factors:
Misunderstanding of the total foreign arrivals figure
In 2010 South Africa received around 11.3 million foreign arrivals, of which 3.3 million were same-day visitors who did not spend a night in SA. This leaves eight million foreign arrivals who stay overnight in SA. Of these, around 5.7 million are from Africa and 2.2 million from the rest of the world (or overseas). Around five million of the African arrivals arrive via land border posts with the majority arriving from our neighbouring countries, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
The potential market for a hotel in Cape Town from these foreign arrivals would be around 2.2 million if it targets mainly overseas tourists and not the African market. As the economists say, on the other hand, the potential market from these foreign arrivals would be around five million for a hotel in Nelspruit that mainly targets African arrivals. Many tourism establishments believe they have a potential market of 11.3 million foreign tourists.
Dramatic increase in new accommodation establishments
This applies not only to hotels but also guesthouses and B&Bs. Although estimates vary as to the exact amount, we can safely say that the number of available beds has increased significantly in Cape Town and Johannesburg between 2008 and 2010. Accordingly, a hotel in Cape Town (particularly in the upper star grading) has seen a significant increase in competition and occupancies and rates will suffer if the supply outstrips the demand.
On the other hand, accommodation establishments in smaller, more rural destinations have not experienced such an increase in the supply of beds, and their market, which is more domestic and business-focused, has not declined as much, with the result that they are not experiencing the same decrease in occupancies and rates as the urban centres.
Changing travel patterns
There has been a change in the travel pattern of tourists, with the length of stay of foreign tourists, in particular, declining in recent years. Accordingly, the number of tourists may increase but, because they are staying for shorter periods, the actual number of bed nights is down, resulting in the lower occupancies.
Travel spend takes a knock
Tourists have been spending less on trips due budgetary constraints, resulting in them downgrading from five-star to three- and four-star hotels. On the other hand, some tourists have moved from three-star to five-star hotels where the five-star hotels dropped their rates closer to those of three-star hotels. Accordingly, hotels have been gaining or losing market share to each other depending on what their competitors are doing.
Lastly, I just need to add that, although the industry, on average, has been suffering, we have had anecdotal evidence of establishments that have weathered the storm well by focusing on the domestic business market and keeping their rates reasonable with a high standard service offering. Keeping rooms spotless and being friendly and accommodating will not contribute to your expenses.
Martin Jansen van Vuuren
Strategic Solutions Director
Grant Thornton Cape
Grant Thornton South Africa was founded in 1920 and provides a comprehensive range of services, including assurance, tax and specialist business advice to dynamic organisations – listed companies, large privately held businesses and private equity backed organisations. Grant Thornton South Africa is a member firm of Grant Thornton International and 5th largest accounting firm in South Africa.
Do get in touch with us should you be considering holiday'ing in Africa, there are many options to create a travel itinerary that will fit within your budget.
… as an aside… consider Mozambique for your next beach holiday, it is one of the most incredible places I have ever been to – a true tropical island paradise – Robinson Crusoe style with regards to remote and pristine, but the accommodation options are comfortably luxurious to over the top gorgeous.
Visit our website
# # #
We offer tailor made packaged holidays & safaris in Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands, with romantic travel packages for honeymooners, including unique safari weddings if you wish to marry abroad, as well as family safaris and vacations, for all budgets.