Green Shoots for the Hospitality Industry

Green Shoots for the Hospitality Industry
Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group

The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruption to the hospitality industry, with lockdowns and travel restrictions forcing many businesses to close their doors or operate at a reduced capacity. However, three years after the outbreak first emerged, this resilient industry has bounced back.

Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts says that they have witnessed first-hand how people are booking time away and are enjoying making magical, lasting memories with friends and family once again.  “Despite the challenges of the past few years, it really feels like we’re finally back on track, with green shoots appearing that promise to bring renewed growth and vitality to our sector.” He highlights the compelling statistics revealed by First Group’s analysis of bookings and occupancy data from January to June 2022 compared to the same period in 2023. These findings not only validate the industry’s recovery but also indicate the exciting shifts shaping its future.

One of the most striking trends observed by First Group Hotel and Resorts is the significant increase in reservations. Lamont reveals that the company has experienced an impressive 20% year-to-date growth compared to the previous year.

In addition, the Group has noticed a change in how people approach their holidays, with a preference for longer stays. Lamont shares that the average length of stay has increased from two nights in the prior year to three nights during the same period this year.

Supporting these encouraging trends, he adds that First Group achieved a significant milestone in June, selling nearly 8,000 additional room nights. This accomplishment demonstrates the pent-up demand for getaways and the eagerness of individuals to explore new places, relax, and connect with loved ones.

“We are thrilled by the surge in bookings and the increasing number of guests opting for longer stays. This upward trend is not only encouraging for us but also for the entire industry. It’s also interesting to see how guest’s preferences have evolved in response to the changing times and we’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds,” Lamont concludes.

To find the ideal holiday destination for you and your family, visit www.firstgroup-sa.co.za.