+27 71 448 3496
leon@whyafrica.co.za

Propelling South Africa’s economy forward one tourist at a time

Share Article
South Africa is home to a number of spectacular tourist attractions like the Drakensberg, a UNESCO world heritage site. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Propelling South Africa’s economy forward, one tourist at a time

Although South Africa‘s tourism industry has struggled to rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now it a position to pursue aggressive growth.

In the first quarter of 2023, South Africa welcomed more than 2 million visitors. Furthermore, over the next decade, this sector is projected to generate an impressive 800,000 jobs and inject a substantial R287 billion into the national economy. As a nation and continent in the midst of a demographic boom, this could signal the beginning of a prosperous period if managed correctly.

What is even more encouraging is the foreign direct spending for this period, which reached an impressive R25.3-billion, marking a remarkable 143% surge from the same timeframe in 2022. With such positive indicators, the local tourism industry is well-positioned for continued growth. If they play their cards right, the industry’s key stakeholders could be the driving force behind amplifying this success and contributing to the full realisation of South Africa’s tourism potential.

Spotting diamonds in the rough (Propelling South Africa’s economy forward, one tourist at a time)

Strong tourism sectors are founded on businesses that see opportunity where others do not. Since 2010, Mbombela in the Mpumalanga Province has seen virtually no new hotel development and the industry in the area was stagnating. That worsened when the pandemic hit and gutted the local and international demand. By seeing the pandemic as an opportunity and noticing how the area interacted with visitors from neighbouring Mozambique, The Capital Hotels, Apartments and Resorts was able to turn adversity into growth.

“Chaos creates opportunities and our Mbombela property is an example of how well things can work out if you’re not scared to make bold decisions based on trusted data, your team and your unique selling points,” says Marc Wachsberger, CEO of The Capital Hotels, Apartments and Resorts adding that “We developed that location during the pandemic and now it is one of the best performing properties in the group. Being able to capitalise on the tourist traffic from Maputo and a local audience starved for a modern hotel is a big reason for that.”

The New Silk Road (Propelling South Africa’s economy forward, one tourist at a time)

Underpinning the growth of the tourism and hospitality industry in the country is the fact that Africa is open for business in a big way. Zimbabwe’s massive lithium deposits, Kenya’s mushrooming technology sector, a new oil refinery in Nigeria and demographics skewed towards the young and entrepreneurial, bodes very well for the continent.

As home to Africa’s busiest airport and with its relatively well developed infrastructure, South Africa is the perfect intermediary for those looking to do business on the continent. As the number of Indian, Chinese and other international business visitors continues to surge, South African hotels have emerged as meeting places providing sophisticated, reliable venues where people can experience service at an international level without being concerned about power supply issues.

Wachsberger says, “We’re not ones to rest on our laurels. We are currently doing about 30% better than most of our nearest competitors and would like to keep it that way. So, we are carefully looking at expansion plans into South African and thereafter the rest of Africa. There will be some difficulties, but we believe key parts of the continent have the same fundamentals as South Africa so we’re confident we can make it work.”

As one of the few sectors of the economy experiencing strong growth, tourism has the potential to provide some much-needed relief to people across the country. All it needs to make good on these gains is a regulatory framework that encourages innovation and businesses that are bold enough to see opportunities where others do not.

Propelling South Africa’s economy forward, one tourist at a time

ADVERTISEMENT

WhyAfrica provides on the ground information and business intelligence about the sustainable utilisation and extraction of natural resources in Africa, and can assist your company through:  

  1. Membership:
  • WhyAfrica’s membership offers great business insights to you, your company, and clients.
  • Amongst many other benefits, we will publish editorial content about you or your company on the WhyAfrica online platform and on all WhyAfrica’s social media pages – the annual fee is R5,500 and you can find out more or subscribe here: https://www.whyafrica.co.za/product/membership/ 
  1. Sponsorship:
  • WhyAfrica’s Road Trip takes place annually in July and August. During our Road Trip we aim to visit more than 30 project sites. Sponsoring the Road Trip, or to be a WhyAfrica member, gives you unparalleled insight into the business environment of the countries that we travel to and the project sites we visit.
  • To be a member or sponsor allows you access to invaluable, on the ground, business intelligence and a great marketing opportunity for all companies doing business in Africa.
  • The main aim of our Road Trips is to promote Africa as an investment destination and to showcase Africa’s greatest companies, and projects to our large global audience, which includes a list of potential investors, venture capitalists and serial entrepreneurs.
  • To view the photos of this year’s Southern Africa Road Trip click on the gallery link or follow our Instagram account at why.africa https://www.whyafrica.co.za/road-trips/whyafrica-road-trips/. 
  1. Advertising:
  • We publish daily online articles on our WhyAfrica platform and post them on social media every day. Our combined online reach is more than 45,000. In-article banner ads are highly successful advertising tools as is advertising space on our website.
  • In addition to our bi-weekly newsletters, we publish two printed- and two interactive digital magazines per year. The printed magazines are distributed at major events and conferences throughout the year, and also on our WhyAfrica Road trips.
  • Digital magazines are e-mailed to all our subscribers and shared on our social media platforms. A copy of the latest edition is automatically attached to all our outgoing e-mails.
  • WhyAfrica magazines provide great marketing opportunities. There are also in-article and on-line advertising opportunities at exceptional rates. Contact me for more information on leon@whyafrica.co.za or give me a call.
  • To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletters and magazines click on the link and register: https://www.whyafrica.co.za/subscribe/  
  1. 4. Partnerships
  • Maximise your African exposure and link with our large business network through becoming one of only 10 WhyAfrica partners. We have only five prime partnership positions left for 2023, so contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za to get the best deal.

Propelling South Africa’s economy forward, one tourist at a time

Share Article

Sectors

AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management