Urban tourism and the changing structure of the hotel economy in South Africa
Urban tourism is a growing focus in international tourism writings. One critical theme in urban tourism expansion is the growth of the accommodation sector, most importantly of hotels. In terms of the post-1994 expansion of tourism in South Africa, the country’s cities have emerged as major destinations. Using two national hotel data bases which were constructed for 1990 and 2010, this article analyses the structural change and patterns of hotel development and restructuring within four South African cities namely Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth. Common trends are observed in terms of the growth in number of new hotels, a churning of hotel stock, expansion in average hotel size, and most importantly a marked quality upgrading of hotel stock. Alongside these common trends, significant variations are observed between the four cities which reflect the different trajectories of development of these four urban tourism destinations.
Keywords: Urban tourism, hotel establishments, hotel size, star grading, South Africa.