The breathtaking Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga

South Africa’s statistician general has issued Stats South Africa’s latest Domestic Tourism Survey. 

According to the survey, the total number of day trips decreased by five million while overnight trips decreased by about three million from 2015 to 2016. 

Stats SA said, “With South Africa experiencing low levels of economic growth and a high unemployment rate, people have been careful about how they spend their money. Households choose to spend on basic necessities that will benefit their welfare, rather than on domestic travel which is usually perceived as a luxury.”

According to the Tourism Satellite Account 2015, one in 22 employed people in South Africa work in the tourism industry, representing 4,5% of the total workforce. 

For the tourism sector, this equates to about 711 746 jobs that are dependent on the industry performing well.
 
“I think the key to start the process is to focus on marketing to local tourism,” says Tim Smith, managing partner of HVS South Africa. 

“When locals understand what is on offer and experience the attraction, they can then recommend to others, including international visitors.  To attract the locals, a focused marketing campaign and sensible pricing need to be implemented.”

Smith recently hosted the successful THINC Africa conference in Cape Town. Head of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona, told delegates the growth of domestic tourism was vital for year-round job security, and said the tourism body had launched the ‘five in five’ strategy:  It wants to grow tourism numbers by five million in five years; four million would be international travellers, and one million domestic.