STATS SA: 3 OF 4 OVERNIGHT DOMESTIC TRAVELLERS DIDN’T BOOK ACCOMMODATION
The latest Domestic Tourism Survey released by Statistics South Africa shows a decline in the total number of day and overnight trips taken within South Africa since 2013. The survey also reveals how economic stagnation and re-prioritisation of consumer spending has affected the domestic tourism industry in South Africa.
Domestic travellers opting to stay with friends or relatives
A visit to friends and relatives was the most popular reason for undertaking overnight trips, with approximately 12 million trips taken for this reason in 2016. Nearly 3 out of 4 people who undertook overnight trips opted to stay with friends and relatives rather than pay for accommodation.
However, there were about 14,8 million paid bed nights spent on overnight trips in 2016. Of this total, 4,1 million were spent in the Western Cape and 4,0 million in KwaZulu-Natal. The Northern Cape had the lowest number of paid bed nights at 306 000.
More notable findings
The survey also reveals the following notable findings:
- The total number of day trips decreased by 5 million, while overnight trips decreased by about 3 million from 2015 to 2016. This demonstrates that people have been cautious about their travel patterns by opting to travel during school holiday month – December, Easter holidays, June and September.
- More than a quarter of people who did not take day or overnight trips mentioned the lack of finances as the reasons for not travelling in 2015 and 2016. Domestic tourists were largely driven by the middle and higher living standard measure – those who may have more disposable income.
- In 2015 and 2016, Gauteng, Limpopo and Western Cape were the most popular destinations for day travellers, whereas tourists (those who undertook overnight trips) preferred visiting Limpopo. In 2015, Eastern Cape was the second most popular province for tourist visits, followed by KwaZulu-Natal. However, in 2016 Gauteng was the second most popular province for tourist visits, with KZN once again in third spot.
The latest survey tells us that with South Africa experiencing low levels of economic growth and a high unemployment rate, people have been careful about how they spend their money. Households choose to spend on basic necessities that will benefit their welfare, rather than on domestic travel which is usually perceived as a luxury.
How do we change this perception… is Tourism Month the answer? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas.
Did you know:
According to the 2015 Tourism Satellite Account, one in 22 employed South Africans work in the travel & tourism industry, representing 4,5% of the total workforce. For Tourism, this equates to about 711 746 jobs that are dependent on the industry performing well.