While South Africa’s most well-known tourist attraction is burning, the latest tourism accommodation statistics will not make the tourism industry feel better, although they have already been living with the bad news for more than a year now.

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According to Statistics SA, total income for the tourist accommodation industry decreased by 72.7% in February 2021 compared to February 2020, while income from accommodation decreased by 74.5% year-on-year due to a 60.6% decrease in the number of stay unit nights sold and a 35.2% decrease in the average income per stay unit night sold.

As in previous months, all accommodation types recorded large negative year-on-year growth in income from accommodation during February, with the largest year-on-year decreases in income from accommodation reported by hotels that decreased by 78.1% and contributed -53.7 percentage points and “other” accommodation that decreased by 68.8% and contributed -18.7 percentage points.

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Income from accommodation decreased by 65.3% in the three months up to the end of February, compared to the same three months in 2020. Hotel accommodation income decreased by 70.4% and contributed -46.2 percentage points and ‘other’ accommodation decreased by 57.2% and contributed -16.8 percentage points.

Compared to January, seasonally adjusted income from accommodation decreased by 6.9% month-on-month in February 2021 and decreased by 39.3% month-on-month in January 2021.

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