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Decline in tourism figures

SAFETY: Routine maintenance on the Table Mountain cableway, used by a million tourists annually. Photo: ESA ALEXANDER
SAFETY: Routine maintenance on the Table Mountain cableway, used by a million tourists annually. Photo: ESA ALEXANDER

A survey has revealed that, despite locals cutting down on domestic travel, revenue generated by tourism has increased.

The report showed that the number of domestic day trips locals embarked on last year fell from 54million in 2013 to 48million in 2014. However, the total expenditure of domestic day trips increased to R11-billion, and R38-billion for overnight trips.

The study attributed the business revenue growth to domestic travellers who preferred to spend a large portion of their cash on shopping.

"Much of the expenditure on day trips was for shopping [R6-billion], followed by expenditure on domestic transport and food and beverages with R2.9-billion and R1.5-billion respectively," read the report.

The big spenders by age were people between 25 and 34 who spent most of their money on shopping (60.5%) during day trips, and on domestic transport (35.1%) while on overnight trips.

"On overnight trips, domestic transport [R12.9-billion] remained the category of highest individual expenditure, followed by shopping [R11.3-billion] and food and beverages [R6.9-billion]," read the figures from Statistics SA's domestic tourism survey 2014 that was released yesterday in Pretoria.

The number of overnight trips also decreased to 47million compared to 51million in 2013.

Gauteng, with 26% of the day trips market share, was the most popular destination, followed by Limpopo with 15.5% and Western Cape with 12.1%.

Statistician-general Pali Lehohla said the tourism figures were down because of the tough economic environment.

South African Leisure, Tourism and Hospital Association president Churchill Mrasi said domestic tourists don't spend much.

"When they come to the townships, they just buy a few drinks and leave," Mrasi said.

sibanyonim@sowetan.co.za

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