Johannesburg – The number of overseas tourists to SA jumped by 16.5% year on year (y/y) to 242‚475 in October 2012‚ compared with an overall increase of 8.7% y/y in the number of foreign arrivals in SA‚ Statistics SA (Stats SA) said on Monday.

In October 2012‚ the distribution of overseas tourists were as follows- Europe‚ 146‚550 (60.4%); Asia‚ 35‚805 (14.8%); North America‚ 34‚311 (14.2%); Australasia‚ 11‚638 (4.8%); Central and South America‚ 10‚822 (4.5%) and Middle East‚ 3‚349 (1.4%).

Virtually all tourists from Africa came from the SADC countries at 521‚290 (96.5%).

The distribution of the remaining tourists from Africa was as follows: West Africa‚ 10‚345 (1.9%); East and Central Africa‚ 7‚084 (1.3%) and North Africa 1‚366 (0.3%).

This was one of the reasons why total income for SA’s accommodation industry rose by 9.1% year on year in October.

Total income for the industry increased by 12.3% in the three months ended October this year compared with the three months ended October last year‚ figures showed.

Total income includes income from accommodation‚ restaurants and bar sales‚ and “other” income.

Stats SA said that income from accommodation alone rose by 13.7% in the three months ended October 2012 compared with the three months ended October the previous year.

The rise was mainly due to an increase of 6.6% in the number of stay unit nights sold‚ and an increase of 6.7% in the average income per stay unit night sold.

There was a 14.2% year on year increase in income from accommodation in October.

The number of stay units available increased by 1.8% in the three months ended October this year compared with the same period last year‚ while the number of stay units available rose by 1.7% on a year-on-year basis in October.

Stats SA describes a stay unit as a unit of accommodation available to be charged out to guests. Examples include a powered site in a caravan park or a hotel room.

Stay unit nights sold also rose on an annual basis‚ Stats SA reported. Stay unit nights sold refers to the total number of stay units occupied on each night during October. - I-Net Bridge