Month: September 2014

Africa remains the “go to” place in the world as far as hotel investment and growth is concerned – and it will be for some time to come, says the chief economist for Investment Solutions, Chris Hart.

Addressing delegates at the Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA) in Johannesburg, South Africa, Hart touched on the contentious issue of South Africa’s new immigration regulations and said it was critical for governments to remove obstacles which serve as barriers to investment. In addition, he made the case for more tourism co-operation between countries to link and package the continent’s tourism opportunities.

This year’s conference brought together decision-makers in the travel and hospitality sector, including regional and international hoteliers, investors, developers and senior public sector leaders.

Regarded as Africa’s premier hotel investment talkshop, the conference is an important meeting place where industry movers and shakers can network, promote hotel projects and engage on matters pertaining to hotel development in the Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) region.

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Article Source: Hotel & Restaurant

Poll position: Should Vic Falls have a theme park?
Zimbabwe’s Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi has reiterated plans to develop a theme park near Victoria Falls. (See Tourism Update September 25)
The project is proposed for a site approximately 20km from the Falls.
Do you think the development of a theme park 20km away from Victoria Falls will be good for tourism? Let us know by voting in the poll to the left of the screen.
Last week’s poll: What did you think of HICA?
Last week, we asked readers who attended the Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA) what they thought of it.
Most readers, 63%, rated the conference average, while 37% rated it uninteresting.
Article Source: Tourism Update


Over the past 20 years, the tourism sector’s contribution to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) has increased significantly, with an average annual average real growth rate of 7.3 percent according to Stats SA, creating jobs and generating valuable foreign currency.

According to the Department of Tourism, in 2013 tourism contributed 9.7 percent to the country’s GDP and accounted for in excess of 1.4 million jobs, while in 2012 tourism generated R93 billion, making an 11 percent contribution to GDP and 10.3 percent contribution to total employment in South Africa.

Encouragingly, in December 2013, according to Stats SA a total of 937 792 tourists visited South Africa – a record high, reflecting an increase of 7.6 percent over December 2012. During the entire 2013, 9.6 million tourists were recorded in the country, which is 428 596 more than the previous year, according to the Department of Tourism.

Domestic tourists play an important role, contributing R24.3 billion to the economy in 2013 – up from R21.8 billion in 2012, and with the Department of Tourism looking to achieve a target of 18 million domestic tourists by 2020.

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Last week, the Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA) took place in Sandton, Johannesburg.
It was attended by regional and international hoteliers, investors, developers and senior public-sector leaders. Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, was also in attendance.
We would like to know from readers who attended, what they thought of the conference. If you attended, let us know by voting in the poll to the left of the screen.
Last week’s poll: Will you attend Indaba 2015?
We asked readers who had attended Indaba this year whether they would be back next year. Respondents were split down the middle with 50% planning to attend and 50% opting to give the show a miss.

Article Source: Tourism Update


The tourism industry in Africa must take advantage of what the continent has to offer as a whole. African countries also need to work together to improve ease of travel and to combat the international misconceptions on the spread of Ebola.

These are some of the sentiments SA Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, shared while speaking as part of a ministerial session at the recent 2014 Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA).

Hanekom said African countries had the benefit of being able to provide unique and diverse experiences that were not on offer anywhere else in the world.

“If we look at the South African economy, for example, we probably have two sectors where we genuinely have comparative advantage. It’s the mining sector, because we’re endowed with greater mineral wealth than any other country in the world, and the tourism sector. We’ve got quite a vibrant agricultural sector but it is not a natural advantage. The one area where we have a serious competitive advantage is tourism and it continues to grow.”

Hanekom said tourists were increasingly becoming concerned with social and environmental issues and wanted to see countries making a commitment to reducing the effects of climate change . He said it was up to the tourism sector to take care of natural resources and to conduct tourism responsibly.

He added that it was important for the Southern Africa Development Community region to assist each other in making it easier for tourists to travel across borders.

Hanekom said it was absurd that travelling between African countries was so much more difficult than travelling from an African city to Paris or London. He called for more effort to be put into connecting African countries and cities, organising visa facilitations, making border posts as “friendly” as possible and investing in infrastructure to facilitate travel between African countries.

Touching on the Ebola outbreak and the effect it has had on tourism in Africa, Hanekom said there was a propensity from the rest of the world to lump the African continent together so that when something happened in one part of the continent, it affected the entire continent.

“The Ebola epidemic affects South Africa, it affects Kenya, it affects the entire African continent. I’ll tell you why it affects us; one of the reasons is because there is a strange irony here. While this African continent is very large, yes, in the minds of people abroad, it is very small too.”

Hanekom also highlighted the fact that the continent was on growth path, arguing that there had been serious advances toward political stability and democratisation. He said this was not always seen, but instead the problem areas were focused on. He added that negative reports had to be countered collectively, as a continent, to avoid hurting the tourism industry.

Article Source: TourismUpdate