SA tourism forecast to defy Ebola fears
by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – THE South African tourism industry is projected
to remain steady despite the outbreak of the Ebola virus that is ravaging
parts of West Africa.
As the Southern African country kicked off Tourism Month, the continent
remained on high-alert in the wake of reported Ebola cases across select
Western African countries, leading to questions about the potential impact
of Ebola on South Africa’s travel and tourism sector.
“The South African tourism sector is likely to remain steady because the
country is yet to detect any cases of Ebola among local or foreign
citizens visiting the country.
“This positions South Africa as a relatively safe destination for tourists, compared to the affected countries,” said Wiza Nyondo, Head of Niche Areas at FNB Business.
Nonetheless, in its latest findings, the FNB Tourism Business Index
reported a slight drop during the second quarter of 2014.
The lower reading emanated from areas such as travel agents, transport
operators and conference centres.
The accommodation sector still performed better than normal.
Despite the slight decrease in the second quarter, the SA Tourism sector
remains one of the better performing sectors in the country with sustained
growth vital in boosting South Africa’s economic growth, which is yet to
break the 1 percent GDP growth per capita mark.
“Tourism is one of the sectors which need to remain resilient in order to
boost South Africa’s overall economic growth.
“The two remaining quarters of the year will be crucial in shaping the overall performance of the tourism sector in 2014,” said Nyondo.
– CAJ News
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