Hotel revenue across South Africa increased almost six percent during June’s Confederations Cup and Lions rugby tour, an auditing firm said on Tuesday.
Revenue per available room (revPAR) was up 5.8 percent during June countrywide as hoteliers benefited from an increase in tourism due to the FIFA Confederations Cup and the British and Irish Lions rugby tour, Deloitte said in a statement.
Due to the economic downturn however some tourists were being deterred by the strong rand against source market currencies, the company’s Moray Wilson said.
“There is no doubt that the South African tourism industry continues to be challenged by the global economic downturn… Data compiled by STR Global (a market forecaster) shows that revPAR is down 7.2 percent year-to-June 2009 and if this trend continues, 2009 could be the first year in 10 years that revPAR has experienced negative growth.”
Wilson said June’s sporting events gave the hotel industry a welcome break from declines and also provided South Africa with a practice run before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“The country is no stranger to hosting sporting events, but the World Cup will certainly be the biggest we have held in recent years.
“During the event, the country is aiming to welcome approximately 450 000 visitors and will certainly set up the framework for a very prosperous 2010 for the tourism industry.”
Major cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg benefited the most from the recent football and rugby events.
RevPAR in Cape Town jumped 14.2 percent, breaking five consecutive months of decline, despite only hosting two rugby matches.
The jump was mostly due to a 10.6 percent increase in average room rates to R880, but occupancy also went up by 3.3 percent to 51.1 percent, ending a 12-month cycle of occupancy decline.
Johannesburg also benefited from hosting one rugby and five football matches in June with revPAR up 9.9 percent to R832 — the strongest revPAR this year and ending a six month run of declines.
Wilson said a 20.6 percent jump in average room rates was solely responsible for this increase, while occupancy continued to decline 8.9 percent.
On the flip side, despite hosting matches, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria did not fare as well and all experienced revPAR declines.