New data published by StasSA reveals a general pattern of decline in domestic tourism over the past two years as associated with economic stagnation and re-prioritisation of consumer spending in the country.
A summary of key findings of the Domestic Tourism Survey 2014 found that despite the number of day trips declining from 54.4 million in 2013 to R48 million in 2014 and overnight trips, from 50.8 million in 2013 to R47.2 million in 2014, actual total expenditure on domestic overnight trips increased from R68.5 billion to R71 billion.
Expenditure on day trips also increased from an estimated R35 billion to R38.6 billion, StatsSA said.
This increase in expenditure on overnight trips has largely been driven by
increased spending from the more affluent population.
In 2013 and 2014, Gauteng and Limpopo province were the most popular destinations for day travellers, whereas tourists – those who undertook overnight trips – mostly preferred visiting KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.
Most of the money spent during the most recent day trips was spent in Gauteng, whereas most overnight expenditure occurred in KwaZulu-Natal.
A visit to friends and relatives was the most popular reason for undertaking overnight trips, as approximately 14 million trips were taken for this reason.
For most of these visits, travellers did not make use of paid accommodation, which had an impact on the potential economic and job creation benefits of those trips. Most recent day trips were for shopping purposes.
Most tourists spent up to one week at their destinations on an overnight trip, with an average of six nights.
These people were most likely to have stayed with friends and relatives on their trips, having arrived at their destinations in taxis, since almost six out of ten trips were undertaken with taxis as the main mode of transport.