Hotel and guest house occupancy rates in South Africa

New data from StatsSA shows the average amount spent by tourists in South Africa during its busiest summer months.

Measured in nominal terms, total income for the tourist accommodation industry increased by 1.4% in March 2017 compared with March 2016, the stats body said on Monday.

Income from accommodation increased by 3.3% year-on-year in March 2017, the result of a 1/6% decrease in the number of stay unit nights sold and a 5.0% increase in the average income per stay unit night sold.

In March 2017, the types of accommodation that recorded the largest year-on-year growth in income from accommodation were ‘other’ accommodation (6.0%) and hotels (4.2%).

Other accommodation includes lodges, bed-and-breakfast establishments, self-catering establishments and ‘other’ establishments not elsewhere classified.

The positive contributors to the 3.3% year-on-year increase in income from accommodation in March 2017 were hotels – 2.7 percentage points, and ‘other’ accommodation contributing 1.6 percentage points.

Income from accommodation also increased by 5.7% in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the first quarter of 2016, StatsSA said.

StatsSA also noted the average rate per night across the industry over the ‘high season’ ranged between R996 in October, and R1,152 in January.

Occupancy rates over the same period ranged between 45.5% and 55.5%.

Tourist statistics by type of accommodation in March:

Type Occupancy rate % in March Average income per night March
Hotel 62.4% R1 098
Caravan park/camping
46.4% R162
41.3% R891
Other 42.3% R1 147
Total industry 53.3% R1 052

Tourist statistics by type of accommodation between October 2016 – March 2017:


Caravan Parks and Camping



Total industry

Read: How much the average tourist spends in South Africa’s biggest cities

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Hotel and guest house occupancy rates in South Africa