Tourism glitters more than gold

first_img12 October 2004It’s official: South Africa’s booming tourism sector brings more dollars into the country than gold.The yellow metal was once the bedrock of the country’s economy, but recent research by Standard Bank shows that foreign exchange proceeds from tourism are significantly higher than those from gold exports.In 2003, forex from tourism totalled R53.9-billion, compared to the R35.3-billion from net gold exports.According to the research, tourism contributes about 7% to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) and adds more to domestic economic growth than the mining sector, which contributes 5% to GDP, Business Day reports.Business tourism key to growthSouth African Tourism says business tourism – a category which includes conference tourism – is the key to further growth in the sector, and already injects some R20-billion annually into the South Africa’s economy.Business tourism sustains almost 260 000 jobs in SA, and pays out R6-billion in salaries and R4-billion in taxes every year.Despite a global slump, South Africa has continued to defy world tourism trends, and in 2003 achieved a 4.2% increase in overseas arrivals (not including arrivals from Africa) compared to 2002.This in the face of a 1.3% fall-off in global travel attributed to the conflict in Iraq, fears over the Sars virus and a weak global economy.The country’s exponential tourism growth has coincided with the its first decade of democracy: arrivals have grown tenfold since 1994, from 640 000 to 6.5-million in 2003.The Standard Bank research shows that in 2003, more than half of South Africa’s tourists came from other African countries – many of them on “shopping safaris” – with visitors from Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia, whose currencies are pegged to the rand, spending R7.6-billion in the reporterlast_img read more

South Africa’s Pick n Pay invests in Ghana

first_img22 October 2014Ghana’s growth is attracting South African investors. Local retail giant Pick n Pay will open stores in the country next year to make the most of the West African nation’s predicted 6.9% growth.South African retailers The Foschini Group, Mr Price, Truworths and Pick n Pay rival Shoprite already have successful operations in the country.Speaking to local newspaper Business Day, Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher said Africa was emerging as the company’s second engine of growth, and that the company’s “like-for-like sales in Africa, outside its home market, rose 7.8% in its half-year to August’.“Ghana . has a lot of the similarities to the business we’re developing in Zambia. I think Pick n Pay can add value to that marketplace.’Ghana’s growth is, according to Nielsen, “driven by political stability, sound macroeconomic policies, high gold and cocoa prices, and oil revenue’. The World Bank describes the country as the “sixth-easiest place in Africa to conduct business’.Pick n Pay across AfricaThe retailer has a strong footprint on the continent, with well-performing franchises in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, and a company-owned business (or privately owned business) in Zambia. And it plans to expand further into West Africa, with an eye on Nigeria.Brasher said, “There is the potential to do business in Nigeria. It is complicated but there are 190 million people and it’s growing, and therefore we’ll continue to keep both East and West Africa on watch.’The company is well aware that African markets are diverse though, saying: “We are also close to completing our analysis of the opportunities available to us in Nigeria. Our approach outside our borders remains measured, and no investment will be undertaken without a comprehensive understanding of a market and its supply chain capacities.’The group is also dedicated to growing its South African operations, opening 46 new Pick n Pay and Boxer stores in areas without these. Its moves are paying off, with a recorded 6% growth in group interim revenue to R32.1-billion during the 26 weeks ended August 31 2014.According to its reports, revenue from outside South Africa was up 15% to R1.7- billion, with like-for-like growth of 7.8%.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more