Views from the pool area in the Pepperclub Hotel and Spa. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - As everyone gears up for the festive season, holiday planning is set to gain momentum. However, some people may be despondent about taking a trip as prices of getaways seem to increase during December. Take a look at why this is the case. 

December sees the influx of tourists in South Africa. From February 2016 to February 2017 alone, SA’s tourism industry has seen an upward shift. 

According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA’s), latest tourism report, SA is increasingly becoming a popular destination for foreign tourists. 

This is attributed to the exchange rate. R3.99 billion alone was spent on accommodation in February this year. 

This is a 3.6% increase from the same time last year. Tourists have spent more time in the country than usual due to favourable prices, which could be one of the reasons for an increase in revenue over the summer season, says CEO of the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa), Tshifhiwa Tshivengwa. This increase saw a R4 billion input into the country’s economy, just from an increased spend on accommodation.

READ: Tourism a bright spot for SA despite recession

December 2016 saw an even higher revenue from accommodation at R4.5 billion. This revenue took a dive in January this year to R3.9 billion and then rose to R3.99 billion in February. 

December’s high accommodation-related income was bolstered not only by tourists staying longer, but also due to elements which Statistics SA determines as “other”, such as income received from onsite gambling‚ cleaning and telephonic services‚ transport, shops and petrol stations.

Of the R6.5 billion injection into the economy between December 2016 and February 2017, accommodation accounts for 53% of the tourist sector’s income. The latter went to restaurants at 31% and bars accounted for 16%. 

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