The dire situation in the tourism industry has again been highlighted, when Statistics SA announced the monthly tourism figures for March 2021 and compared it with March last year.
The numbers look bad, but there is good news in that the figures for March looked better than the figures for February, when restrictions were tighter, although that could change when the third wave hits and requires government to tighten restrictions again.
Measured against current prices, the total income for the tourist accommodation industry decreased by 45.3% in March 2021 compared to March 2020.
Income from accommodation decreased by 35.9% year-on-year in March 2021 as 16.5% less stay unit nights were sold and the average income per stay unit night sold decreased by 23.2%.
All kinds of accommodation were affected as illustrated by the large negative year-on-year growth in income from accommodation.
The largest year-on-year decreases in income from accommodation were reported by hotels with an income decrease of -39.7% and a contribution of -26.0 percentage points.
The income of other accommodation, including lodges, bed-and-breakfasts and self-catering establishments, decreased by -30.6% and contributed -8.9 percentage points.
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Income from accommodation decreased by 64.3% in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the first quarter of 2020. The main contributors to this decrease were hotels where income decreased by -69.0% and contributed -46.0 percentage points and other accommodation that decreased by -57.2% and contributed -16.4 percentage points.
Seasonally adjusted income from accommodation increased by 37.6% month-on-month in March 2021, with the largest positive month-on-month growth rates recorded for hotels, where income increased by 52.0%, caravan parks and camping sites by 50.4% and other accommodation, that increased by 21.7%.