In 2020, after seeing strong growth rates during most of the review period, experiential luxury turned to double-digit current value decline. Interprovincial and international travel were banned by the South African government as part of the COVID-19 lockdown regulations for a number of months of the year to try and stop the spread of the virus.
Although South Africa did not have notable sales in luxury foodservice in 2020, the country has a rich restaurant culture, and also boasts restaurants that serve Michelin star meals. Luxury hotels hosting high-end restaurants, as well as other high-end independent restaurants in South Africa, were impacted by the restrictions on the sale of alcohol in the country due to COVID-19.
Luxury accommodation such as luxury hotels suffered the effects of having few to no visitors due to the travel ban that was put in place by the South African government and governments across the world to control the spread of COVID-19. In addition, even when travel was allowed, many consumers remained reluctant to take holidays in the uncertain circumstances, mainly due to continued concern about contracting the virus.
A second wave of COVID-19 infections started in South Africa from the end of 2020 and into 2021. Until COVID-19 is better-controlled, activity in the travel and tourism industry will remain restricted to emergency and business travel in order to facilitate social distancing and avoid the spread of infections.
Prior to COVID-19, luxury accommodation was reliant on the influx of international tourists, as well as the top 10% of the South African population that can afford to spend on luxury experiences and accommodation. However, the decline in global leisure and business travel, as well as interprovincial travel restrictions that were put in place for a good proportion of 2020, resulted in many accommodation providers struggling.
The onset of the pandemic led consumers to comply with lockdown regulations as they followed government instructions to stay at home unless needing essential purchases. However, the length of time that it has taken to get suitable vaccines, as well as more deaths caused by the second wave of infections and new strains of the COVID-19 virus, have left people fatigued, hopeless and frustrated.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Experiential Luxury industry in South Africa with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Experiential Luxury research and analysis database.
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