The report, the South African Mid-Year Hospitality Report 2023, gathered data from over 3,800 rooms in independent hotels, bed and breakfasts, and lodges in South Africa and analysed key hotel performance metrics such as revenue per available room (RevPAR), occupancy rate, booking and payment behaviour over the past two years.
Hotels are generating better revenue – According to RoomRaccoon’s data, hotels have significantly increased their revenue by upselling room upgrades. This saw a revenue increase of 106% from December 2021 to December 2022.
Direct bookings remain strong – South African properties grew direct bookings by 12% in the past year, amassing over 20,000 direct bookings. This indicates that properties are becoming better at persuading guests to book via their websites.
Events make a comeback – Events such as concerts, sporting competitions and large conferences experienced surges in hotel occupancy and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR). Notably, the Formula E-Prix in Cape Town resulted in an impressive occupancy rate of 77%, surpassing the yearly average by 21%. Moreover, the RevPAR surged to R1,947, which was R1,117 higher than the average for the year.
Cape Town sees longer stays – Based on the data, Cape Town has emerged as a preferred destination for longer stays, with three-day stays being the most common choice among visitors. This trend could be attributed to the increasing number of digital nomads and bleisure travellers visiting the city.
Payments technology increases in popularity – VCC payments have increased by 188% from May 2022 - May 2023. South African hoteliers recorded the highest VCC payment transactions in January, accounting for 5,136 payments.
Commenting on the data, Niels Verspui, market head of RoomRaccoon Southern and East Africa, says: "In today's dynamic travel landscape, it's more important than ever to base your business decisions on data. Analysing the numbers has become the best way to spot trends, develop effective strategies, and determine where to invest your efforts and money."
Niels emphasises that hotels should concentrate on a dynamic pricing strategy so as not to leave money on the table. He says: "Based on our data, it's evident that events in South Africa have positively influenced hotel occupancy rates and RevPAR. It's crucial for hoteliers to closely monitor and capitalise on any attractions taking place in their city.
"To make the most of these opportunities, hotels can implement yield management rules to ensure their rates are always optimal with fluctuating demand. Furthermore, automating the upsell process will enable them to maximise revenue during these bustling periods."