Growth forecast for tourism in SA

Mar 19, 2014

The travel and tourism sector in South Africa is expected to grow 3.6% during 2014, while globally, the sector is expected to grow by 4.3%.

This is according to World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which undertakes an economic analysis of the impact of the travel and tourism sector in 184 countries every year.

WTTC’s South Africa Economic Impact Report revealed that the travel and tourism sector contributed R323 billion to the country’s GDP, 9.5% of GDP. This compares with a worldwide contribution of $7 trillion (R75 trillion) to the global economy.

The total contribution of the sector to employment in South Africa, including jobs indirectly supported by the sector, was 1 404 190 jobs, or 10.1% of total employment. The total global contribution of the sector to employment was 265 835 000 jobs, or 8.9% of total employment.

Locally, investment in the sector for 2013 year amounted to R56.8 billion or 8.6% of total investment. This is projected to rise by 1.1% in 2014.
“Travel and tourism’s contribution to the world economy grew for the fourth consecutive year in 2013, helped especially by strong demand from international travellers,” says David Scowsill, President and CEO of WTTC. “It is clear that the growth in travel and tourism demand from emerging markets continues with pace, as the burgeoning middle classes, especially from Asia and Latin America, are willing and more able than ever to travel both within and beyond their borders.”
However, Scowsill says governments need to take action. According to him, while the outlook for the next ten years looks extremely favourable, governments need to implement more open visa regimes and to adopt intelligent rather than punitive taxation policies.

“It is also critical that public and private partnerships ensure that long-term infrastructure and human resource needs are planned responsibly and sustainably, to absorb the inevitable growth that we are forecasting,” says Scowsill. “If the right steps are taken, travel and tourism can be a true force for good.”

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