South Africa’s hospitality sector is poised for further growth in the next five years bolstered by inbound travelers, despite a difficult and volatile economic climate, according to PwC.

In its most recent edition of Hotels Outlook: 2017-2021, the report projects South African hotel room revenue will grow by 10.1% in 2017 and is expected to expand at a 9.3% compound annual rate out to 2021.

Pietro Calicchio, hospitality and gaming industry leader for PwC Southern Africa, noted, “Africa’s hotel sector has remained resilient in the face of strong economic headwinds.”

The outlook for 2017 is positive with an increase in the number of international visitors to South Africa expected. Domestic tourism also is anticipated to increase by 2.2% in 2017, according to the report.

“One of the positive outcomes for the hotel market in South Africa was the amendment of visa requirements that required foreign visitors from certain countries to provide biometric data in person. International visitor numbers to South Africa rebounded significantly in 2016 with a 12.8% increase as compared to the 6.8% decrease in 2015,” Calicchio commented.

Visits from China and India increased in 2016 as a result of the relaxation in the visa requirements; travelers from China to South Africa increased by 38% and India recorded a 21.7% increase, according to the report. Of non-African countries, the UK is still the largest source of visitors to South Africa at 447,840 in 2016.

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Tourism from India to South Africa recorded a 21.7% increase