Uncertainty fails to stifle S.African tourism growth - CNBC Africa

Uncertainty fails to stifle S.African tourism growth

Southern Africa

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South African tourism is on the rise. PHOTO: Gopixpic

The quarterly Tourism Business Index (TBI) also indicated an index score increase to 105.3 in the third quarter (Q3) from 94.7 in the second quarter, despite predictions that the Q3 index would sit at 98.9.

“[The third quarter] was a tough period for us as an industry, fraught with uncertainties in the wake of the Ebola outbreak which continues to be a worrying issue for the global travel and tourism community,” said Mmatšatši Ramawela, chief executive officer of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA).

(READ MORE: S.African tourism steady despite Ebola threat)

Most of the people in the accommodation sector said their business had not been affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

However, another barrier that could have had a negative impact on the results was South Africa’s new immigration regulations.

“The index found that despite the postponement of the regulation relating to the presentation of unabridged birth certificates, tour operators and hotel groups still expect this regulation to have a negative impact on their business,” said the TBCSA.

(WATCH VIDEO: South Africa a safe destination for tourists)

The index further predicted that the level will remain at 109.8 in the last quarter of the year.

“Businesses will be exploring various avenues to capitalise on the festive season with both the accommodation and ‘other tourism business’ segments expecting fairly strong demand from overseas, domestic leisure and business,” it said.

The TBI is made up of several sections including accommodation - which includes all types of accommodation establishments and other tourism businesses - and includes the tourism transport sector, retail, forex traders, business tourism and attractions.