New report reveals many SA travellers won't have money for post-Covid-19 travel
Cape Town Tourism released the first in a series of reports which highlights the impact that Covid-19 and the lockdown have had on consumers.
The report takes a deep dive into the macroeconomic and socioeconomic factors of Covid-19 on South African consumers and the travel industry.
CEO of Cape Town Tourism Enver Duminy said that the organisation wanted to understand the current reality of the South African consumer, and what the immediate and medium-term impact is on them economically.
“What was important for us to analyse was if they had any disposable income and if they would be spending this on travel when regulations allow. This would be a critical factor to consider when we move into our tourism recovery programs.
“We ultimately need to establish what the impact would be on travel to Cape Town and if they had any plans at all at this stage,” he said.
Chairman of the board of Cape Town Tourism Brett Hendricks said that for the travel industry, the most important part of this survey is how lockdown has affected everyone’s disposable income and the psyche of citizens.
“Even before this pandemic and the lockdown, South Africans were struggling in an economy that had recently been downgraded to junk status. With the closing of many businesses over the past few months and the rate at which people are losing their jobs, purse strings are being pulled even tighter.
“This is concerning for us in the travel industry. Travel has always been perceived as a luxury, and if our consumers are battling financially it means that travel might not be as high up on everyone’s list as before. In essence, we need to start thinking of innovative ways to still attract travellers to Cape Town, and affordability and value-for-money offerings need to be a top priority for the entire travel and tourism value chain," said Hendricks.
This survey showed that only 24 percent of respondents have disposable income, with most planning to use this money on necessities such as groceries, savings and health. Only five percent are planning on spending money on leisure travel in the near future.
MEC for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management and Tourism Alderman James Vos said it was no secret that the tourism industry had been hit the hardest by the pandemic.
"Looking at the results of this report, we really have our work cut out for us if we want our industry to bounce back strongly. Now more than ever we need a smart approach not only to how we market Cape Town as a great local and international destination but also in how we manage the destination," he said.
He said the destination's main focus is to move from crisis into recovery by adjusting its plans to be ready for a re-imagined tourism landscape.
Read the full report here.