When looking at many world class holiday destinations along the spectacular Garden Route coastline, this as well as as increasing tourism numbers, it is no surprise that well managed self catering concerns make for good business enterprise.
In his address at this year's Tourism Indaba in Durban, Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk said research shows South Africans to have a preference for self catering accommodation. He also confirmed that incoming tourism to the country has increased by 17%. Also reporting good growth in tourism income and visitor-numbers for the year in June is SANPARKS, reporting the number of black visitors to national parks showing an increase of 11.4% from last year, and an increase in the total number of black overnight visitors in national parks that grew by 19.4%.
Increases in international markets were seen from Germany by 16.9%, France 17.6% and the US 7.2%, with a decline from the UK and Netherlands. In particular is growth seen that relates to Garden Route tourism numbers, in the total number of Wildcard sold this year showing 75.8% of all visitors to national parks to be South African.
This would account for good occupancy rates at well managed Garden Route guest houses, offering self catering and bed and breakfast accommodation en route to national parks. Areas such as the Wilderness, Sedgefield, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay are popular in demand as stopovers from where both domestic and foreign visitors make their way to world class tourist destinations such as Tsitsikamma National Park, Storms River Mouth, and Addo Elephant Park near Port Elizabeth.
And for business owners and operators of overnight stays, who have invested in the long term benefits of real-time booking systems, even better as globetrotters and increasingly local tourists are making reservations online. From overnight stays, to car rentals, restaurants, and adventure outings, such as the highest bungee jump facility in the world located at the the Bloukrans River along this route. The spectacular canopy tour at the Tsitsikamma Forest where the country’s oldest Real Yellowwood and Outeniqua Yellowwood Trees are located, also features the Knysna Loerie, Narina Trogon and the Vervet monkey.
When it comes to tayler making travel itineraries, guest house managers in Wilderness this weekend commented on how visiting guests commonly make enquiries and finalise online bookings for their next night’s stay, prior to departing.
Then there are the benefits derived from the stability brought by long leases for property owners who become landlords when letting out their houses to business tenants who become bed and breakfast operators. Long leases are in the interest of both landlords and tenants in the tourism industry, as breaking even financially, and eventual profitability can take anything from one year and more.
High traffic areas along the Cape Garden Route are also known to attract foreign investment, where Europeans buy houses for the purposes of offering self catering accommodation, as they are well positioned to attract visitors from their home countries. In some cases foreign operators employ not only skilled hospitality and travel hands, but those fluent in foreign languages such as German, French and Netherland.
Another common trend seen is when both local and foreign property owners decide to retire from operating bed and breakfast concerns. They mostly sell going concerns as a whole to new operators preferably at a profit, or simply become landlords to new tenants running similar businesses from there. In which case astute local residents who have become familiar with such businesses over long periods, are often the beneficiaries of successfully operated concerns.