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About Us | The Global Travel & Tourism Partnership South Africa
Ms Lee-Anne Bac - Â Principal at Grant Thornton
Principal at Grant Thornton Strategic Solutions
Lee-Anne Bac is a director of the Grant Thornton research-based consulting service line and is a strategic research expert.
She joined Grant Thornton in 1997 and was appointed a director in 1999.
is responsible for feasibility studies, business plans, economic and social impact assessments, business valuations, market and social research, human resource development strategies, skills needs and demand assessments, property consulting and strategic management consulting.
This is a decline of 1600 ...
This is a decline of 1600 tourists - or four jumbo jets - per day," says Lee-Anne Bac, Director, Advisory Services at Grant Thornton.
adds that this loss of foreign tourists excludes the levels of growth that South Africa should have experienced during the same period.
"If we had experienced modest growth of 5% for the quarter, then the total number of foreign tourist arrivals to end March 2015 would have been 2,6 million.
So, if we include the expected growth expectations in our estimations, South Africa actually lost 265 000 foreign tourists (and not 150 000) in the first three months of the year and therefore the loss of direct spend in our economy (Foreign Direct Investment) would have been R2,8 billion," she
says that during the first quarter of 2009, when the world was in deep recession, South Africa recorded a 2.5% drop in tourist arrivals for the same period.
"Based on global tourism forecasts for 2015, South Africa should not be experiencing these levels of decline" says Bac
"South Africa appears to be 'bucking the global trend' at the moment."
cautions that there will be far reaching implications resulting from this dramatic decline, and most notably a price squeeze will result as tourism product owners fight for a shrinking foreign tourism market and a price sensitive domestic market.
"There will most definitely also be job losses especially in niche tourism operators that focus on specific foreign tourism markets i.e. China and India," Bac
adds that the recent Xenophobic attacks in South Africa are not to blame for the decrease in foreign arrivals because these only flared up towards the end of the first quarter this year, which was after the period under review.
"The decline could be attributed in part to the aftermath of the Ebola virus which affected West Africa," says Bac
This caused confusion and complications in the market," says Bac
One can only imagine what the new Birth Certificate legislation will do to our arrivals in the coming months, since its implementation came into effect on 1 June this year," Bac
Africa Hotel Investment Forum
Principal, Grant Thornton
Lee-Anne Bac, director ...
Lee-Anne Bac, director Advisory Services at Grant Thornton says: "Tourism arrivals only grew by 7.5% during 2014 which in effect means that 2015's negative performance has wiped out two years' worth of vital tourism growth."
The Advisory Services team completed the full year's review of tourism data for South Africa, following Statistics South Africa's release of Tourism and Migration findings for December 2015, on Wednesday afternoon 10 February 2016.
did emphasise that while significant losses were recorded during the first nine months of 2015, it was the final quarter of the year - from October to December - which helped to "save" South Africa as significantly improved statistics and data was recorded.
According to Grant Thornton's
analysis, for the 2015 year, South Africa experienced its biggest loss from African tourists where a decline of -7.3% was recorded, compared to +9% growth recorded during 2014.
"It is interesting to note that African air arrivals - those African tourists who enter South Africa via an airport - increased by 1.8% in 2015
," continued Bac
"But this then highlights even greater losses experienced in the number of land border African arrivals over the past year."
Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) saw a 14.4% increase in African air arrivals during 2015 and Bac
attributes this to the introduction of new airlines flying directly to CTIA.
Ethiopian Airlines now boasts six return flights per week from Addis Ababa to Cape Town direct.
Overseas tourists to South Africa, which are defined as visitors who are citizens of a country outside of Africa, declined by -4,9% in 2015
"The overseas tourism market stabilised notably during October (-0.1%) following a disastrous first nine months of the year," adds Bac
"It's important to remember, though, that 2014 was a disastrous year for arrivals from China with a -23% decline recorded in overall tourist arrivals," says Bac
Recent changes to travel laws and the sheer nature of this industry will hopefully help it to rebound from its current decline in the months and years to come," Bac
"South Africa has a fine tradition ...
"South Africa has a fine tradition of strong women in business, as well as women political leaders, but there still is much room for improvement," said Lee-Anne Bac, director of advisory services at Grant Thornton.
The picture painted by Bac is supported by Business Unity SA's executive director for social and transformation policy, Vanessa Phala.