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HomeLeisure, Travel, TourismAn overview of the tourism sector in South Africa

An overview of the tourism sector in South Africa

Swiss investment may underpin tourism expansion.

By Tahlia Wyngaard

The International Hotel School (HIS), which has campuses in six South African cities, is now part of the Swiss group, Sommet Education, following the acquisition by the European company of Invictus Education Group. Invictus also runs the SAE Institute in Cape Town and Johannesburg, where the focus is animation, audio and film. The Sommet Education connection, which includes the Gilon Institute of Higher Education among its brands, will allow for more rapid expansion in other parts of Africa for the IHS and SAE brands. 

Three Gauteng hotels have changed ownership from Marriott International to Anew Hotels & Resorts. Writing in the Sunday Times, Arthur Goldstuck ascribed this success for the South African family group to “the very fact that it has a local base and focus has given it an edge”. The three hotels were the Parktonian (Johannesburg), Hotel Roodepoort and what is now called the Anew Centurion. Anew now has 11 properties in its portfolio.

Earlier, when the Marriott International hotel group closed three of its South African hotels during the Covid-19 lockdown, Tsogo Sun Hotels, which owns a controlling stake in all three hotels, stepped up its commitment by agreeing to bring them into its portfolio, keep them open and run them.

Hospitality Property Fund Limited delisted from the JSE in 2021 and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tsogo Sun Hotels Limited, giving Hospitality shareholders shares in a more liquid stock and the hotel group an expanded property portfolio. Most of Hospitality’s 54 properties (with about 9 000 rooms) were operated by Tsogo Sun.

South African National Parks (SANParks), which runs nearly 70% of South Africa’s 509 state and protected areas, has a number of public-private partnerships and held an investment summit in 2022 to showcased a further 100 opportunities in 12 national parks. There are currently 60 PPPs in operation in South Africa.

Sun City announced in October 2022 that it would spend about R1.1-billion on projects at its Sun City Resort.

The R295-million Lefika Villas development will see 58 three and four-bedroom villas added to the resort’s accommodation options for members of Sun International’s Sun Vacation Club. The Palace (pictured) will gain a spa and a gymnasium and 320 bedrooms are to be refurbished.

There are 711 745 people employed in the tourism industry nationally, with road transport (29%), food and beverages (20%) and accommodation (19%) absorbing the largest numbers. The sector contributes 9% to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP).

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