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Good news for SA tourism sector which is forecast to grow over next decade

O’Flynn said that their data reflected the short-term rental renaissance which continued to grow both in domestic and international bookings. Photo: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

O’Flynn said that their data reflected the short-term rental renaissance which continued to grow both in domestic and international bookings. Photo: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 1, 2022

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South Africa’s tourism sector is forecast to grow at an average rate of 7.6% per year over the next decade, according to the latest Economic Impact Report released by the World Travel & Tourism Council.

This projection significantly outstrips the 1.8% of the country’s overall economies.

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Propr, South Africa’s largest short term rental management company, has released data, which is already starting to reflect this growth based on the performance of short-term rental bookings in 2022.

Propr co-founder and Managing Director, Chregan O’Flynn, said the company’s gross bookings grew by 266% and total revenue was up by 234% between October 2021 and May 2022, compared to that of the previous season

“Our total property count has doubled over the last year which speaks to the recovery in the space and the move from long-term back to short-term rentals. Average daily rates are higher than what they were pre-Covid,” said O’Flynn.

O’Flynn said that according to the stats, the average occupancy increased to 74.43% up from 63.28% year-on-year and that the average daily rate also increased by 31% in the same season.

He added said that average stay length had also gone up, from 5.47 days pre-Covid to 7.58 days in 2020/2021 to 6.4 days during this last season, and that they were seeing shorter stays again which corresponded with the return of international travel.

“When Covid hit, the drop in international travel coincided with an increase in the length of stays as a result of more South Africans working remotely. Now, more companies have adopted a work-from-home approach and are accepting of having their staff work from anywhere,” said O’Flynn.

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He revealed that as a result, there has been a huge exodus from landlocked cities such as Johannesburg to cities that offer better lifestyles like Cape Town and other coastal towns.

O’Flynn said that their data reflected the short-term rental renaissance which continued to grow both in domestic and international bookings.

He believes that, given the changes in the tourism space over the past two years and the weakening currency, this will only continue to ramp up.

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“In fact, Airbnb announced last year that millions of new hosts will be needed to meet demand as travel picks up. We hope that more South African hosts will take up this opportunity to reap the benefits of this growing sector and the tourism industry’s imminent recovery,” he said.

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