It’s certainly taken a while for tourism to reach pre-covid levels again. But we’ve reached that point. Latest data release shows air traffic numbers just hit record levels and that’s great news for these three travel companies I want to share with you in a moment.

Read on to discover which travel companies stand to benefit

On 15 January 2024 Engineering News reported the Cape Town International Airport saw passenger numbers hit 317,000 passengers for the month. The previous record was set in January 2020 at 290,000 passengers.

That means a 9.3% increase in the previous highest passenger count…

For the year of 2023, 2.8 million passengers passed through the Cape Town International Airport. That’s compared to the previous record of 2.6 million passengers in 2019.

Estimates are the December 2023 travelers would have added at least R1.9 billion in direct tourism spending in the Western Cape!

And it seems its not just the Western Cape that’s seeing increased tourist arrivals. Whilst the entire country isn’t at record levels yet – it is seeing BIG growth.

Statistics South Africa’s recent release of international arrival figures for January to November 2023, show the South African tourism sector’s rising momentum. International tourist arrivals totaled 7.6 million representing a remarkable 51.8% increase when compared with same period in 2022. While recovery towards pre-Covid-19 numbers is encouraging, this performance is 17.6% lower compared to the same period in 2019.

Tourists with deeper pockets are returning from Europe and the US

In the initial 7 months of 2023, Europe accounted for 14.3% of South Africa’s total tourist arrivals (682,828 visitors). This represents a significant 61.5% increase compared to the same timeframe in the previous year.

The United Kingdom led as the top European source of tourists to South Africa, with 204,885 visitors, indicating a 45.7% growth.

Visitors from the Americas increased by 59% between January and July 2023, totaling 259,081 arrivals in South Africa.

The United States accounted for the most arrivals from the Americas (206,015), increasing by 54.5% when compared to 2022 numbers.

Asian markets increased by an impressive 91.2% in the first half of 2023, with India accounting for the largest number of arrivals, followed by China.

Higher tourist numbers mean upside for these 3 travel companies

Increased tourist spending is good for hotels, tour operators, restaurants, and car rental companies.

Consider City Lodge for instance:

In November 2023 the company announced occupancies were sitting around the 62% level compared to a 54% occupancy rate at the same time in 2022.

The company also revealed its room rates have increased by 9% on average compared to the 2022 period – following a 12% increase in 2023.
Simply put – the hotel group is seeing more tourists, that are willing to pay more per night!

Or take CMH as another example…

That company has a car hire business.

In 2022 the car hire business saw revenue come in at R369 million in the first six months of the year.

For 2023, the company saw revenue soar by 21% to R447 million!

And then as a last example – the Spur Corporation:

Spur saw restaurant turnover increase 23% to R9.52 billion in the year ended June 2023.

Earnings per share shot up by 80% to 260cps.

The company has 639 restaurants – and opened 22 new ones in SA during the year.

Considering the record tourism growth figures, we’ve been seeing in the past year – it is safe to say the tourism and travel sectors are something to keep an eye on… Follow my tips here.

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