In August 2023, South Africa witnessed a remarkable growth in hotel performance, marking a significant 7.58% increase in occupancy compared to the previous year. What’s even more encouraging is that this growth in occupancy was accompanied by a noteworthy rise in the average daily rate, with an increase of R180.57 from 2022. The average rate soared from R1,219.77 to R1,400.34.
With most major regions in South Africa entering the peak tourism season, the data suggests that the country is poised for continued growth in both occupancy and average rates. However, when we compare the figures from August 2019 to August 2023, it becomes clear that occupancy levels have not yet fully recovered. In August 2023, the occupancy rate stood at 60.60%, falling short of the August 2019 rate of 60.80% by 0.23%. This means that South Africa’s year-to-date occupancy in 2023 is lagging behind that of 2019 by 0.83%.
On the positive side, the average rate growth in South Africa remains robust. In August 2023, the average rate reached R1,400.34, surpassing the August 2019 average rate of R1,140.66 by R259.68. Despite the lower occupancy, the 22.27% increase in the average rate resulted in higher revenue per available room (RevPAR) compared to 2019, demonstrating that South African accommodations are generating more revenue despite selling fewer room nights.
Breaking down the decrease in occupancy in August 2023, we estimate a shortfall of 5,527 room nights. Considering the year-to-date shortfall compared to 2019, the number of room nights falls short by 150,464. These figures highlight that the demand for hotel accommodations in South Africa has not yet reached the levels observed in 2019 in terms of the number of travelers choosing to stay in hotels.For a detailed analysis of our August Source Data – read our article here – South Africa – Top Source Markets – August 2023