Tourism Busi­ness In­dex Half-Year Re­port 2017

Tourism Tattler - - EDITORIAL -

The Tourism Busi­ness Coun­cil of South Africa (TBCSA) has re­leased its half-year Tourism Busi­ness In­dex (TBI) Re­port, which tracks and pro­vides in­for­ma­tion about the level of busi­ness per­for­mance across the travel and tourism value chain, and also fore­casts prospects for short-term fu­ture per­for­mance.

Over­all, the in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­enced lower than nor­mal busi­ness per­for­mance be­tween Jan­uary and June 2017, record­ing an in­dex of 82.7 (where 100 is nor­mal). An­tic­i­pated busi­ness per­for­mance for the pe­riod July to De­cem­ber 2017 is also ex­pected to be slightly down, record­ing an in­dex of 80.4. This in­di­cates a slightly less op­ti­mistic view of busi­ness per­for­mance for the re­main­der of the year.

Delv­ing deeper into the per­for­mance of the two main TBI cat­e­gories – ‘Ac­com­mo­da­tion' and ‘Other Tourism Busi­nesses' – ac­tual busi­ness per­for­mance for the Ac­com­mo­da­tion sec­tor came in well below nor­mal lev­els and no­tably lower than ex­pected with an in­dex of 79.1, com­pared to the an­tic­i­pated in­dex of 89.3. Look­ing ahead, the Ac­com­mo­da­tion sec­tor ex­pects per­for­mance lev­els to de­cline fur­ther to an in­dex of 66.1 - the low­est level of an­tic­i­pated per­for­mance for the sec­tor since the start of the Tourism Busi­ness In­dex project in 2010.

In the Other Tourism Busi­nesses cat­e­gory, over­all busi­ness per­for­mance also de­clined to an in­dex of 85.5. How­ever, this is fore­cast to im­prove in the sec­ond half of 2017 to an in­dex of 91.4. This re­flects a below av­er­age, but a slightly more op­ti­mistic out­look for a seg­ment of the in­dus­try that com­prises amongst oth­ers tour op­er­a­tors, coach op­er­a­tors, ve­hi­cle rental com­pa­nies, air­lines, travel agents, re­tail out­lets, forex traders, con­fer­ence venues and at­trac­tions.

In­suf­fi­cient over­seas leisure de­mand, in­suf­fi­cient do­mes­tic busi­ness de­mand and in­creases in com­pet­i­tive sup­ply are the top three fac­tors cited as con­tribut­ing neg­a­tively to per­for­mance. Other rea­sons cited in­clude the down­turn in the econ­omy, in­creases in rates and taxes and con­tin­ued wa­ter re­stric­tions.

The lat­est TBI re­sults also cor­re­late with the find­ings of other in­dus­try-spe­cific re­ports re­leased by Statis­tics South Africa, such as the tourist ar­rival fig­ures (look­ing at a six-month over­view) as well as the re­cently re­leased 2016 Do­mes­tic Tourism Sur­vey.

Amongst the pos­i­tive fac­tors cited is the pos­si­ble in­crease in do­mes­tic leisure de­mand, as well as tourist de­mand gen­er­ated through con­fer­ences and events across the re­gion.

Com­ment­ing on the re­port, TBCSA Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Ms. Mmatšatši Ra­mawela said: “The de­cline we have ex­pe­ri­enced re­cently in busi­ness per­for­mance has the po­ten­tial to be tem­po­rary if the sec­tor, as a col­lec­tive unit, takes up the chal­lenge to ad­dress the un­der­ly­ing so­cio-po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic is­sues that are af­fect­ing busi­ness and con­sumer con­fi­dence at a broader level.”

Im­age cour­tesy of South African Tourism

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