The African Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions (AAEVA) has released its first-ever attractions benchmark survey results for the national industry. This is both a first for South Africa and the continent. The attractions benchmark survey results, researched and analysed in the second quarter of 2021 by Sabine Lehmann, CEO of Curiositas, and the executive director of AAVEA, were compiled using data collected for 2019 and 2020.
SA attractions say the industry has changed fundamentally and won't recover 2019 numbers
In respect of the impact of Covid-19 and the national lockdown, the attractions benchmark survey report yielded the following snapshot of the attractions industry:
• South African attractions received a total of 11,7 million visitors in 2019.
• In 2019, the domestic market was the largest single source of visitors for attractions and experiences with 61%of visitations being domestic visitors.
• 20% of full time jobs were lost at attractions between 2019 and 2020.
• The majority of attractions (66%) were closed for the equivalent of half a year or more in 2020.
• 27% say the attractions industry has changed fundamentally and we won't see those numbers again.
The organisation announced its partnership with South African Tourism (SAT), the marketing agency for the Department of Tourism, in 2020. The survey results report is one of the key deliverables of this partnership.
"If we wish to advocate for our sector within the tourism economy, then having data available to prove our importance in the industry is vital. Never has the role of the attractions and experience industry been more important than in the year when we lost international tourist arrivals.
"For the domestic tourism economy, visitor attractions and experiences are an instrumental driver of leaving home for a fun day out. We wish this to be the first of an annual attractions and experience survey which will eventually be extended to attractions and experiences in Africa," says Lehmann. View full survey results