Business Maverick


Less room at the inn: Hotels and other establishments filling up at last

Less room at the inn: Hotels and other establishments filling up at last
(Photo: Gallo Images / Ziyaad Douglas)

The increase in numbers is reflected in Stats SA’s latest tourism data, as well as a booking platform for independent hotels.

Hotels, lodges and other establishments have witnessed a significant bump in revenue, according to data from RoomRaccoon and the latest report from Stats SA.

Stats SA’s data on the domestic tourist accommodation industry reveals an increase of a further 30.2% year on year in May, after April’s 30.8% y/y lift. 

The hotels category and the “other” accommodation grouping (which includes lodges, B&Bs, self-catering establishments and “other” establishments) were the primary contributors to May’s 30.2% y/y increase. 

Department of Home Affairs data has revealed that 2,378,670 travellers passed through SA ports during the month of May – a 43.4% y/y increase.

There was a 54.7% y/y increase in total tourist numbers between May 2023 and May 2022, with 43.4% of tourists from Europe.

Since China’s reopening after its three years of Covid lockdowns, its travellers are also returning to South African shores, with a 274.1% y/y in May and a 256.3% y/y year-to-date increase.

Booked up

RoomRaccoon, a hotel management system for independent accommodations with 10 to 100 rooms, has just published its latest report on hotel performance and trends in South Africa, which reveals that hotel revenue increased by 106% from December 2021 to December 2022.

Direct bookings were strong – guests booking via property websites reflected growth of 12% in the past year, which translates into more than 22,530 direct bookings.

Cape Town properties were the most desirable, reaching a peak of 80% occupancy in March 2023.

hotel sa

(Graph: RoomRaccoon)

Events such as concerts, sporting competitions and large conferences have made a comeback, with surges in hotel occupancy and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR). 

Reflecting on how local events affect RevPAR and occupancy from July 2022 to April 2023, the report shows that New Year’s Eve of 2022 brought in 2023 RevPAR and an occupancy rate of 79%, while the Formula E race in Cape Town resulted in an occupancy rate of 77%. 

hotel sa

(Photo: RoomRaccoon)

Cape Town is also seeing longer stays, with visitors preferring to stay for three days or longer. This, RoomRaccoon says, could be attributed to the increasing number of digital nomads and business/leisure travellers in the city.


This year, Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) will host 415 events, with a capacity for 322,283 guests. These are in a range of industries including energy, mining, finance, tourism, retail, the film industry, science and technology, agriculture, medicine, education and sport.

The CTICC has also confirmed 445 gatherings in 2024 and 480 in 2025.

In May, the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa awarded Sun City’s Conference and Exhibition Centre a five-star rating, which is the first time such an award has been granted to a conference facility in the country. 

Sun International has upgraded the resort multiple times over the past 44 years. Since the pandemic, Sun City set its sights on securing the growing conventions market, spending R150-million on modernising its business infrastructure which now consists of 27 conference rooms, three convention centres, two auditoriums and multiple breakaway rooms. 

Southern Sun (previously Tsogo Sun) said in June that trading levels in its properties were climbing as local and international travel normalised and demand for conferencing and events increased. 

All regions performed well and exceeded pre-Covid levels – except for the Sandton Convention Centre.

City Lodge, which operates 59 hotels, has also said it expected to report a full-year profit in its year ending June, with occupancies exceeding pre-pandemic levels. DM



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