#BizTrends2020: 5 South African tourism trends to watch in 2020

Many global megatrends, that will have an impact on the South African tourism industry, have already been identified. These include the rising importance of technology and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, flight shaming and the rise of carbon-neutral trips and the rise of Bleisure – combining work and leisure, to name but a few. I believe that apart from these megatrends, there are five key trends specific to South Africa that will impact on South Africa’s Tourism Industry in 2020. 1. SAA in business rescue

The business rescue process of SAA may cause flight disruptions as routes are rationalised and staff may be reduced. Although the business rescue process is regulated, it will not prevent unions from, potentially, airing their grievances through strikes, which could cause further disruptions.

SAA’s 2016 annual report stated that in the 2016 financial year, SAA carried 6.92 million passengers. Even if SAA’s capacity is rationalised and reduced by 10%, this translates to 692,000 passengers that will require alternative flights. 2. South Africa’s slow economic growth

Although forecasts amongst leading economists differ on the exact economic growth rate that South Africa would achieve, the consensus is that South Africa’s economic growth will be slow in 2020. This slow growth will lead to less disposable income for tourism and leisure.

The total number of overnight domestic trips in South Africa has declined from 25,2 million in 2013 to 17,7 million in 2018, representing an average annual decline of 6.8% per annum. This decline in domestic tourism is expected to continue with the slow economic growth in 2020 and the resulting strain on disposable income. 3. Electricity and water shortages

The impact of load shedding was felt on a national level, while the impact of prolonged drought was felt mainly in Cape Town. Load shedding is expected to continue in 2020.

While the water crises have been addressed in Cape Town, various other South African destinations are suffering from prolonged drought, including the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. It has been reported that more than 50% of Eastern Cape dams are less than half full and 44 towns are affected.

The impact of electricity and water shortages are twofold. Firstly, tourism enterprises are forced to invest in alternative electricity and water supply for their guests. Secondly, tourists may change their travel plans to destinations that do not suffer from electricity and water shortages. 4. Changes in travel behaviour due to new air […]

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