Cape Town - With sharply fewer foreign tourists than the pre-Covid-19 norm, the Western Cape’s tourism sector continues to be under pressure, as shown by the latest statistics for tourism accommodation income for July released by Stats SA.
Stats SA said that seasonally adjusted income from accommodation decreased by 36.8% month-on-month in July 2021.
Guesthouses and farms recorded the biggest decrease with -61.6%, followed by hotels at -42.2%.
The statistics were not divided into provinces but rather covered the whole country.
Compared with the statistics for July 2020, which was during harsh lockdown regulations which prevented the movement of people entering and leaving South Africa, this year accommodation income had increased by 121.8% in July 2021.
Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said income from accommodation increased by 589% in the three months ended July 2021 compared with the three months before July 2020.
The main contributors to this increase were hotels at 457.3% and other accommodation which stood at 682.6%.
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “The tourism sector generated R15.5 billion in gross value add and supported 174 982 jobs in 2019 in the Western Cape.
“But the sector has been hard hit and, while the province maintains the lowest unemployment rate in South Africa, the tourism sector is estimated to have lost 75 477 jobs in 2020.”
Meanwhile, the Cape Town International Airport domestic terminal continued its post-third wave recovery for the first two weeks of September, with the domestic passenger numbers reaching 49% of 2019 levels.
The periods compared are September 1 to 12, 2021, and September 1 to 12, 2019.
Acting general manager Mark Maclean said the international passenger terminal recovery was at 24% of 2019 levels for the first two weeks of September, the highest monthly recovery percentage since the restart of international travel in October 2020.
“The 2021 year-to-date passenger terminal recovery is 44% for domestic passengers and only 14% for international passengers, compared to 2019, but these figures, especially on the international side, are expected to gain more momentum as the South African summer season approaches,” said Maclean.