SATSA Market Intelligence Report

The information below was extracted from available data as at 12 December 2012, writes Martin Jansen van Vuuren.

The latest available data from Statistics South Africa is for January to July 2012:

Current period Change over same period last year
UK 247 046 4.7%
Germany 133 757 12.4%
USA 190 355 15.2%
India 62 011 17.9%
China 72 348 65.6%
Overseas Arrivals (excl same day visitors) 1 370 133 16.4%
African Arrivals 3 824 534 8.5%
Total Foreign Arrivals 5 209 618 10.5%

NB: African Arrivals plus Overseas Arrivals do not add to Total Foreign Arrivals due to the exclusion of unspecified arrivals, which could not be allocated to either African or Overseas.

The latest available data from STR Global is for January to October 2012:

Current period Average Room Occupancy (ARO) Average Room Rate (ARR) Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR)
All Hotels in SA 59.1% R 875.13 R 517.18
All 5-star hotels in SA 57.1% R 1 549.57 R 884.53
All 4-star hotels in SA 58.9% R 844.55 R 497.85
All 3-star hotels in SA 59.3% R 708.70 R 420.08
Change over same period last year
All Hotels in SA 7.4% 4.2% 11.8%
All 5-star hotels in SA 12.0% 2.2% 14.4%
All 4-star hotels in SA 8.1% 4.0% 12.4%
All 3-star hotels in SA 5.2% 4.7% 10.2%

The latest available data from ACSA is for January to October 2012:

Change over same period last year Passengers on International
Passengers on Regional Flights Passengers Domestic Flights
OR Tambo International 1.9% -0.9% -2.4%
Cape Town International 5.7% 18.3% 1.7%
King Shaka International 16.0% N/A -5.1%


Occupancies of hotels continue to improve, however more analysis of specific markets would be required to gauge whether it is the business market (foreign or domestic) or leisure market (foreign or domestic) which is driving the growth. Some tourism enterprises are still experiencing constrained trading conditions although the total number of foreign arrivals to South Africa is increasing.  The reasons for this could be varied but the most common is a focus on the total foreign arrival number rather than a breakdown of this number, which takes into account the number of transit arrivals that are included and the purpose of visit of these tourists.

For example, a tourism enterprise that focus on leisure tourists from “Utopia” may have a skewed view of the potential of this market if the official data shows that South Africa receives 100 000 foreign tourists from “Utopia”.  A more detailed breakdown might show that 50 000 of these foreign tourists are in fact transit visitors to other destinations in Africa and spend only one night in South Africa   Of the remaining 50 000 foreign tourists from “Utopia”, 25 000 might be business tourists, which realistically leaves only 25 000 leisure tourists from “Utopia” for the tourism enterprise to target.  The tourism enterprise may want to consider targeting the 50 000 foreign transit visitors from “Utopia” by providing overnight accommodation at the airport which they use most frequently.

For more information contact Martin at Grant Thornton on +27 (0)21 417 8838 or visit:

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