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March 2012 Newsletter   29 Mar 2012 05:57

The first quarter of 2012 has flown by!  It’s been a busy time for many members, with occupancy levels somewhat improved & an overall feeling of optimism prevailing. 

GHASA apologises for taking so long to send this 1st newsletter of the year – we too have been busy with various projects which will benefit our members. Watch this space for more information in due course.


·         It has come to our attention that some of our members have not yet updated rates for 2012/13.  In terms of the Consumer Protection Act, it is incumbent upon you to keep all information up to date, not only on your own website, but every other site on which you feature. Please go to ASAP, use the drop-down Name Search area for quick access to your property & check your rates, contact details & photos.  Let us know if you’d like changes made.

·         If you haven’t sent us photos of your establishment, we display our GHASA logo on your page.  Obviously, prospective guests would rather see your property, so send us 6 pics & we’ll upload them immediately.  Or if you wish to replace old photos, you’re welcome to send them to us – we make all changes for free!

·         Guest Reviews:  Encourage happy guests to write nice things about your establishment!  Your page on has a Review Section, so ask them to go there & as soon as they post their positive comment, we upload it onto your page.  Prospective guests often rely on these reviews, so it’s well worth the effort!


·         German tourist arrivals up :  (Tourism Update 12/3/12)

Speaking at this year's ITB Travel Trade Show in Berlin, Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, said the November 2011 arrival statistics showed a 9.9% increase in German tourists to South Africa. "Germany is the third-biggest overseas tourism market for South Africa and contributes to 9% of GDP through tourist spend.  From January to November 2011, our arrivals from Germany were up by 9.9%, reaching 211 000 German tourists.  Statistics also show that 40% of German tourists to South Africa are repeat visitors. This testifies to the attractiveness of South Africa as a destination," he said.

He said, despite the uncertain economic situation in Europe and around the world, the outlook for the world's travel industry remained good. "While global growth was not as strong as in 2010, tourist arrivals still grew to a staggering 980 million in 2011. The German outbound market is one of the most valuable in the world."

Long-haul destinations have become much more attractive to German travellers in recent years. Direct airlift capacity with South African Airways and Lufthansa is stable at 475 000 seats per year and indirect airlift capacity increased by 10% in 2011 (Emirates, British Airways, Ethiopian and Turkish Airlines).
Travellers from Germany have also grown increasingly price sensitive when choosing a destination, and are seeking meaningful experiences in holidays in which they can engage in activities that not only interest them but leave a positive legacy for the communities, wildlife and people with whom they interact.
"We will continue to work hard on maintaining growth from Germany. The three primary reasons that we attend ITB are to firm up our Joint Marketing Agreements (JMA), meet with trade partners to find out how we can make South Africa even easier to sell in this market and to keep our tourism industry robust, profitable and contributing to the ongoing economic prosperity of our nation."

 ·         Hotel industry claws its way out of tourism slump (Tourism Update: 15/02/12)

Recent hospitality intelligence has suggested that the South African hotel industry is on the path to recovery and industry stakeholders are optimistic that the outlook for the rest of year is equally positive.
Protea Hotels Director of Sales, Marketing and revenue, Danny Bryer, says STR Global's South African Hotel review for December 2011 showed some promising indications of recovery, including increases in occupancy levels and RevPAR, along with a noticeable differentiation in four- and five-star pricing.
"In Cape Town, RevPAR grew by 23% and occupancies were up by 17%," said Bryer. "Average daily rate only increased by four percent, though, and remains relatively low."
Also noting the positive trend, Joop Demes, CEO of Pam Golding, said the five-star market in Cape Town fared particularly well. "Cape Town five-star hotels increased their annual average occupancy by 8,5% in 2011 compared with the 2010 World Cup year."
"While the January 2012 STR review has not yet become available, it appears to have been another rewarding month for the big brands in the five-star hotel industry in Cape Town. The Cape Grace, One&Only, The Table Bay and Radisson Blu all experienced very healthy increases in RevPAR compared with last year, with the Mount Nelson showing a notable 49,5 percent growth in RevPAR in January 2012 compared with January 2011," said Demes.
"We anticipate that the January 2012 RevPAR growth for the Cape Town five-star market in will be in excess of 20% compared with January 2011," he adds. Outlook is also positive for February, March and April.
"The introduction of new direct flights, the positive image of Cape Town and South Africa, unrest in the Middle East and an improved exchange rate have no doubt played a role for improved trading at both of our hotels," says Sandro Fabris, Regional MD in Africa for the Orient Express Group - owners of the Mount Nelson in Cape Town and the Westcliff Hotel in Johannesburg.
Demes says December 2011 hotel occupancy throughout South Africa grew by 11,5 percent compared with December 2010 and the consensus among industry leaders is that business and event travel will also fare better during 2012. "It seems that increased demand throughout the country is starting to absorb the room inventory that escalated sharply during the period 2008 to 2010.
"There are a number of international funds and private individuals seeking operators and hotels that provide a compelling offer to a target market that can demonstrate growth and stability. In conjunction with this, there are a number of sellers needing to raise liquidity and this could well result into one or two larger deals with critical mass that will pave the way for one of the bigger global brands," he says.
He says Accor, Starwood and Hilton have all announced aggressive expansion plans in sub-Saharan Africa while Marriott, which for many years has been looking for an opportunity in Southern Africa, has announced the senior vice president appointment of industry specialist, Alex Kyriakidis, former global chief of hospitality for Deloitte.
"There are also a number of luxury hotels for sale that offer exceptional value as long-term strategic investments and there are good deals to be done with global operators that are seeking presence in the gateway cities of Southern Africa, for example Johannesburg and Cape Town.
"It is going to be an interesting year and acquiring properties to re-brand seems at present a better option compared with building something new. When speaking to a number of regional hotel operators, most agree the timing is right to acquire existing hotel properties in Southern Africa," adds Demes.

·         International tourism still on track to hit 1bn in 2012 (Tourism Update: 25/01/12)

International tourist arrivals grew by over four percent in 2011 to 908 million, with growth expected to continue this year, at a slightly slower rate but still on track to reach the 1bn milestone later this year. This is according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism barometer.
 "International tourism hit new records in 2011 despite the challenging conditions," said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. "For a sector directly responsible for 5% of the world's GDP, 6% of total exports and employing one out of every 12 people in advanced and emerging economies, these results are encouraging, coming as they do at a time in which we urgently need levers to stimulate growth and job creation," he added.
Africa maintained international arrivals at 50 million, as the gain of two million by sub-Saharan destinations (up seven percent) was offset by the losses in North Africa (down 12%).
Available data on international tourism receipts and expenditure for 2011 closely follows the positive trend in arrivals. The top spenders were led by emerging source markets - China (up 38%), Russia (up 21%), Brazil (up 32%) and India (up 32%) - followed by traditional markets, with the growth in expenditure of travellers from Germany (up four percent) and the USA (up five percent) above the levels of previous years.


·         SA popular during December holidays (Tourism Update: 09/01/12)

Cape Town Home Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma recently announced that South Africa welcomed 3,7m travellers from 1-31 December 2011, an increase of 2% compared to the same period in 2010.
Foreign nationals accounted for 1,2m arrivals and 1,3m departures while the Movement Control System recorded the arrival of 511 111 and departure of 683 121 South African citizens.
Citizens from the following countries: Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, United Kingdom, Namibia, United States of America, Germany and Zambia, respectively recorded the highest arrivals into and departures from South Africa while ports of entry which recorded the highest traveller volumes are: Oliver Tambo International Airport, Beit Bridge, Lebombo, Ficksburg, Maseru Bridge, Oshoek, Cape Town International Airport, Kopfontein, Golela and Ramathlabama. (Dorine Reinstein)


·         figg Excel Accounting Solutions is a business registered in South Africa.

The Accounting System sold by figg was originally developed for a Guest House business in MS Excel and the Business Admin Docs are templates in MS Excel and some in MS Word. It is aimed at the single user, non-accountant small business entrepreneur.

figg Excel Accounting Solutions is an approved Microsoft Business Partner.

Cost: Full Suite of products - R2500 Incl VAT.  GHASA members: Special price - R1499 Incl VAT.

Contact fellow GHASA member:  Gail Emmerick – 082 5578190; 012 9935727. Email


·         GET SMARTER:  Boost your career in the tourism and hospitality industry

Save R500 on university-accredited online short courses presented part time and entirely online throughout South Africa. Ideal for busy entrepreneurs and individuals who work full time since no travelling is required.

NB: We are running a competition at the moment where we are giving away a 10-week online UCT Tourism Management Course with GetSmarter worth R8000. Should you wish, please feel free to let your members know! The competition ends on 23 March at 1pm and all entrants will receive a R500 discount. Link below:

For more information contact Tamsin on 021 447 7565 or email  Alternatively, visit

·         BETTER EARTH:  Household products that are 100% biodegradable

Once again 2 of our products are finalists in the Fair Lady Consumer Awards: Best Cleaning Products: Better Earth Household and Bathroom Cleaner Best South African Product (Household): Better Earth Air Freshener.

We have just launched a new laundry gel which has a built-in fabric softener.  GHASA members: 10% discount for March and April 2012! 

Phone Kerry:  021 788 7277 or email


·         Linen Drawer is a producer of top quality, pure cotton percale bedlinen and a supplier to the hospitality industry and interior decorators of quality bed and bath linens, duvets, towels … in fact, virtually anything required in a bed or bathroom.

At Linen Drawer we are passionate about the quality and style of every linen product we sell. We offer a comprehensive linen range of pure cotton towelling, duvets, cotton throws, gowns and related products. We also offer a superb range of 100% pure cotton percale bedding that is so comfortable that you and your guests are virtually guaranteed a good night sleep. All of our cotton products have hypoallergenic properties, because nothing but the best is good enough for you, your guests and your family.

Linen Drawer has recently launched a number of ranges of designer bedlinen….perfect for the boutique hotel or top end guest lodge.

These unique product ranges have been designed by the Linen Drawer design team. A combination of modern styling and classical elegance, these ranges are produced from 200 thread count, pure cotton percale fabrics with pure Linen cuffs (or aspects), creating unique design effects on these duvet cover sets.


Contact Mark Hawes - 084 588 0015 or email


·         Guest House GAP Cover

GAP Cover is an insurance product that provides cover for your & your immediate family, for the short fall (GAP) resulting from any Medical Practitioner charging above the medical aid tariff for incidents that necessitate hospitalization and can be extended to cover co-payments.  Covering the short fall on doctors’ accounts is an exclusive insurance cover for Guest House Owners and Employees.

For more information contact Westley on 076 8102100 or email



Last but definitely not least, we extend a warm welcome to the following new members.  We look forward to a long and happy relationship with you all:

Warthog Rest Private Lodge; Ou Kliphuis; Camps Bay Oasis Guesthouse; Palm Cottage; One World Hotel; Hoopoe House; 38 Edinburgh Court; Abbey Guesthouse; Ester-Litzia; De Marchand Guesthouse; Mogwase Guest House; Modjadji Guest House; Splash; Destiny Lodge Cullinan; Abafazi Guest House; Blue Waters Beach House; St James Seaforth; Number 6 BnB; Oppi-C Holiday Home; Red Elephant Guesthouse; Nupen Manor B&B; Newlands House.

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