Glass remains half-full for tourism despite a dip in business performance

2 min read

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) says the glass remains half-full for the travel and tourism industry to grow and contribute to the economy, despite a dip in overall business performance, in the first six months of 2017.

The TBCSA today released its Half-Year TBCSA 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 slightly down, recording an index of 80.4. This indicates a slightly less optimistic view of business performance for the remainder of the year.

Commenting on the report, TBCSA Chief Executive Officer, Mmatšatši Ramawela says “the TBI results echo the outcomes of various other recognised business performance indices, notably the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) Business Confidence (BCI) and the Rand Merchant Bank/Bureau of Economic Research (RMB/BER) Business Confidence Index which both point to a downturn in overall business performance and confidence. This confirms the view that it’s not just travel and tourism, but business across the board that is negatively affected by the challenging operating environment”.

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 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, reflecting a still below normal, but a slightly more optimistic outlook for a segment of the industry which comprises amongst others tour operators, coach operators, vehicle rental companies, airlines, travel agents, retail outlets, forex traders, conference venues and attractions.