Tourism Opinion South Africa

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South Africa, a paradise for global currencies

According to the Department of Tourism, the South African tourism industry employed 1.5 million people and contributed R425.8bn to the GDP in 2019. While the pandemic dented that figure significantly, the latest research shows that the industry still makes up 3.2% of the GDP. As travel continues to climb back up to pre-Covid levels, it has become increasingly clear that enticing people to visit South Africa is a key part of getting the economy's groove back. Fortunately, we have an arsenal of secret weapons.
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Image source: Gallo/Getty

Value for money

For travellers who earn US Dollars, Euros and British Pounds, South Africa is like a buffet that serves Gordon Ramsay-level food at fast food prices. The same is true for visitors who come from many developed economies.

One of the things that makes South Africa unique is that in many instances, it offers world-class tourism infrastructure at a fraction of what you could find in other parts of the world. When you combine that with the beautiful landscape and the ease with which you can pay for things, in comparison to other parts of the world, you essentially end up with a country where you can live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget.

Natural and cultural resources

With 11 official languages and a plethora of cultural histories, South Africa is a gold mine of natural and cultural resources. Tourism helps preserve these by showcasing them to the international community.

The money visitors spend in the cultural economy goes into preserving and promoting South African culture. Amapiano, for example, is a South African style of music that has spread across the globe as more and more international travellers have interacted with it and helped export it.

Infrastructure development

Oliver Tambo International airport is the perfect example of the transformative impact tourism can have on a country. As the largest and busiest airport on the continent, its continued expansion has driven the creation of a host of other infrastructure projects around Johannesburg. The Gautrain, for example, used O.R Tambo as the launchpad for its expansion into Gauteng.

Tourism is a central cog in the functioning of our economy. Getting visitors to arrive and inject foreign currency into our economy is necessary if we want to revitalise our economy. Profitroom’s innovative booking platform does just that by helping hotels maximise direct payments whilst also providing visitors with an unforgettable South African adventure.

Through it and other interventions in the industry, South Africa can use tourism as the springboard to economic health for years to come.

About Laurence Wall

Laurence Wall, International Hotel Group Manager at Profitroom.

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