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Positive performance
Minister Derek Hanekom
Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom has congratulated the tourism sector for its positive performance over the last quarter of 2014.

This follows the release of the Tourism Business Index for the period. The quarterly index is produced by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA). It measures the actual performance of providers of accommodation and other tourism related services against their expected performance.

“The accommodation sector did particularly well, and recorded its highest score ever,” said Minister Hanekom.

“This indicates that the tourism sector continues to be a robust and resilient one, and is able to withstand some of the challenges we faced last year. Every operator in the tourism sector deserves wholehearted congratulations for the sector’s overall performance.”

The result of the TBI business confidence survey are consistent with two key research indicators. The recent STR Global report indicates that revenue per available room in the hotel sector increased by 7.9% during the first 10 months of last year. A StatsSA report has found that the total income for the SA tourist accommodation industry, which includes restaurant and bar sales, grew by 7 % in November, compared to the same period last year.

Minister Hanekom said the positive business sentiment and the performance of the tourism sector underscored the fact that the fundamentals of the industry were sound.

“Despite tough global trading conditions in some markets, and extraneous shocks such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, operators in the tourism industry still exceeded their own expectations,” said Minister Hanekom.

“This bodes well for future growth. Tourism continues to be one of the stars in our economy, which is why we are continually investing in improving the supply side, enhancing tourist experiences on the ground, and refining our marketing efforts to make sure we get value for money.

“The measures that we have put in place for quality assurance, like tourism grading and tour guide registration, and the investment in further skills development and training for service excellence are bearing fruit,” said Minister Hanekom.

According to the TBI, the forecast for the first quarter of 2015 is confidently buoyant, and the majority of respondents in the survey expected both foreign and domestic leisure markets to grow in 2015.