South Africa, which missed out on the commodities super cycle, is now also missing the tourism super cycle.
Calculations by Grant Thornton in their report for TBCSA on the cost of the new DHA regulations did not include the tourism jobs windfall, which South Africa should have experienced as a consequence of the collapsed rand.
Since the end of June last year, tourists from Europe find their battered euro still goes 9 % further when buying rands. Yet the latest stats from Statistics South Africa show numbers from Germany dropped 12 % in June, compared to the previous year.
UK tourists today find the rand 19 % cheaper than in June last year, yet their visitor numbers in June are down 8 % this year.
Tourists from the USA today can buy 32 % more rands with their dollar than 15 months ago. Based on the elasticity of price and demand, the number of visitors should soar and new jobs should be in abundance. Instead US arrivals dropped 9 %.
India’s Rupee has appreciated 20 % while visitor numbers in June dropped 25 %, an accelerating trend as the year-to-date figure for the first six months is 15 %. China’s currency buys 28 % more rands but the number of Chinese declined by 28 %.
Many of the visitors in these two source markets are affected both by the Unabridged Birth Certificate regulations for minors as well as the new biometric visa requirement – the equipment for which, ironically, Home Affairs has admitted to Tourism Update is yet to be installed in the South African missions in China, India and Russia.