JOHANNESBURG, 18 SEPTEMBER 2017 – The Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA) has commissioned Grant Thornton to create an Annual South African Travel Market Index Report to determine the state and size of South Africa’s travel sector.

“The exact state and size of the travel industry in South Africa is currently unknown, and there’s no one source that pulls all trade data together to form an accurate picture of the market,” explains Otto de Vries, CEO ASATA.

“We feel that data and market trend analysis are integral parts of strategic management.  A report of this nature would provide a baseline against which the industry would be able to measure growth and track the market’s changes over time.

“The Index will also monitor important statistics such as employment numbers, B-BBEE and market concentration, and draw correlations between industry-specific trends and the overall economic climate.”

Among other insights, the SA Travel Market Index Report will include the number of travellers by route, sector and value, passenger arrivals and departures, B-BBEE statistics and employment statistics.

To conduct the study, ASATA has appointed Grant Thornton, widely regarded as the pre-eminent tourism consultants in Africa, with 30 years’ experience across a range of tourism industry sectors and a track record in conducting studies in travel, tourism, hospitality and leisure.

Grant Thornton’s publications are regarded as the authoritative assessment of tourism. The organisation is widely referred to for their data, statistics and opinions on tourism trends in the region and is also the author of the Tourism Business Index, an initiative launched by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa.

The Index will collate and examine a range of data sources from TMCs and travel agencies and third-party stakeholders such as GDSs, IATA and ACSA in two separate phases, explains Lee-Anne Bac, Director Grant Thornton.

“We will be conducting face-to-face and telephonic interviews, and running electronic surveys, among other initiatives, to create a benchmarking tool that will eventually be used in future Market Index studies.

ASATA members will be called upon through various channels to participate in the Index research and can be assured of the confidentiality of their data.

“It is essential that travel industry stakeholders participate willingly so that the Travel Market Index is representative of the entire travel market industry and benefits all. Look out for details of the study in our newsletters, ASATA App and the press,” concluded de Vries.



The Association of Southern African Travel Agents, simply known as ASATA, was formed in 1956. Its founders created a representative forum in the industry to promote professional service with security for both members and their clients. As a Section 21 Company not for profit, membership of ASATA is entirely voluntary and extends to South African Retail Travel Agents, Travel Management Companies and Wholesalers. Currently the Membership represents more than 85% of the industry including the head offices of most of the major brands. For more information, visit

About Grant Thornton South Africa

Grant Thornton South Africa is a member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). Grant Thornton South Africa was founded in 1920. We are leaders in our chosen market, providing assurance, tax and specialist business advice to dynamic organisations – listed companies, large privately held businesses and private equity backed organisations.

We employ 1100 people in South Africa with 100 partners and directors. Grant Thornton has a national presence with 10 offices in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, George, Johannesburg, Nelspruit, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria and Rustenburg. In Africa we operate across 25 member firms in Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe and are ideally positioned to facilitate clients’ expansion plans in these countries.

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