City Travel Briefing: Johannesburg

August 2017

Despite Johannesburg being the business capital of South Africa, leisure is the main reason visitors come to the city. Southern African visitors are the main tourists to the city for both business and leisure purposes, while South African leisure travellers prefer travelling to other local destinations. Southern Africans stay with family and friends, while enjoying Johannesburg’s world-class shopping centre offerings, and are spending the majority of their time and money in the city.

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Johannesburg is changing its image

The city centre and surrounding areas, especially Braamfontein, Maboneng, Marshalltown and Newtown, have been regenerated into a creative tourist area, with the help of both government and private investment.

Johannesburg’s business hub draws leisure tourists

Despite Johannesburg being the business hub of South Africa, the majority of tourists visiting the city are there for leisure purposes, especially shopping.

Tourists spend their money on shopping

Leisure tourists spend the majority of their money on shopping in Johannesburg, especially regional tourists, as the most popular shopping centres boast international brands.

Regional tourists are key for Johannesburg

Southern African tourists are the most frequent visitors to Johannesburg, and prefer to stay with friends and relatives due to it being more affordable.

South Africans are not keen local travellers

On the leisure front, the majority of adults in South Africa have never taken a holiday in their own country. Those that do travel for leisure do so to visit family and friends, or prefer going to cities more exotic compared to Johannesburg.

Local business travellers stay for shorter periods

Due to local company cost saving measurements, if business cannot be done via Skype, business travellers are motivated to visit the city for the day only.

International business travellers stay in hotels

International business travellers often stay in higher-rated hotels, especially in the Sandton business district. In order to cut back on costs though, they are staying in lower-value rooms, eg standard instead of luxury rooms.


Key findings

Macro View

Business dynamics

Destination Dynamics

Tourism board strategy and competitive position
Inbound tourism performance
Domestic tourism performance
Lodging landscape
Smart city innovations
In-destination activities

Future Outlook

SWOT: Johannesburg
Key takeaways

Report Definitions

Data parameters and report definitions


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