Hotel performance in the Cape

Posted On Wednesday, 14 March 2001 03:01 Published by
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HOTELIERS across the country, and especially those in the Western Cape, will tell you that the hospitality sector is not exactly racking up record numbers, of any sort.

HOTELIERS across the country, and especially those in the Western Cape, will tell you that the hospitality sector is not exactly racking up record numbers, of any sort.
Still, at first glance the industry appears to have grown well in December with six out of nine
provinces, and 16 out of 25 tourism regions showing growth in room (+2,3%) and bed occupancies
(+4,9%).
But closer examination shows that December figures have not pulled the overall picture out of the
mire, and that a deeper malaise exists.
In the October to December period, national room occupancies actually fell (-0,2%), while bed
occupancy hardly moved (+1,7%). The bottom line for hotels, income, was even flatter, up just 0,2%.
But there have been some winners, according to statistics released by Statistics SA.
The Eastern Cape, for instance, recorded a jump in room occupancy of 7,2%, while the Little and
Central Karoo area had a bed occupancy increase of 9,2% in the December 2000 month, as compared to
December 1999.
As a whole, the Western Cape table of performance, as measured by total income over December 2000
and compared to December 1999, stacked up as follows: Karoo (+11,4%); Metropole (+7,0%); Overberg
(+4,4%); Breede (+3.3%); Garden Route (+2,4%); Winelands (-5,8%); West Coast (-7,0%).
Even though it has ranked second, there is real cause for concern in the performance of high-grade
hotel space in the Cape Metropole area where there has been a flight to guesthouses and lower cost
accommodation. Based on 1070 beds available in 5-star hotels within the city centre, hotels were
able to achieve an occupancy rate of just 47,5%.
Measured against this, on a descending scale, 4-star hotels achieved bed occupancy rates of 62,7%
(1699 beds); 3-star hotels 38% (899 beds); 1 and 2-star hotels 27,3% (606 beds); and ungraded beds
51,1% (10749 beds). Ungraded space includes guesthouses. Of course, the argument might be made that
there is a glut of beds and rooms available within the Cape, based on a rash of earlier hotel
development spurred on by expectations of a tourist boom.
This may well be so but it is noteworthy that total national hotel space increased by just 0,3%.
Rooms available in the Western Cape actually dropped 2% over the 2000 year. Falling in tandem with
that figure, room nights sold dropped in the greater Western Cape by 0,4%.
The total number of beds available to visitors in the Western Cape, decreased by 1,5%, but bed
nights sold increased by 2,6% over the year 2000.


Publisher: Cape Business News
Source: Cape Business News

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