South Africa is widely regarded as one of the fastest-growing leisure, business and travel destinations in the world and, as a result,the leisure sector offers many opportunities for investors. With the FIFA World Cup in 2010 having put the country firmly on the tourism map - and with Cape Town currently holding the title of World Design Capital - this is a sector to watch.
Unlike some of the other industries and sectors in which Oakbay operates, the real estate and leisure sectors are highly diversified,and different offerings cater for different niches that include eco-tourism, adventure tourism, sports tourism and cultural tourism.
Government has therefore earmarked tourism and leisure as a growth sector, and aims to increase its contribution to the South African economy to R499 billion by 2020 off a base of R189.4 billion in 2009.
Despite tough economic conditions this is a sector that continues to grow, and 8.3 million foreign tourists visited the country in 2011. Local tourists are a significant market too, accounting for 52% of total tourism consumption (source: SouthAfrica.info).
Labour-intensive and with a supply chain that links across many other sectors, tourism and leisure is a priority in government’s planning and policy development framework, and has been identified as one of the six job drivers in the New Growth Path framework.
As real estate and leisure offers many opportunities that are aligned to Oakbay's business and social development objectives, the company is currently expanding into these sectors. It is, for instance, a shareholder in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and, amongst other investments, has a stake in Clifftop Lodge in Welgevonden,a national conservation area in Limpopo. It also has a number of prime real estate holdings in locations such as Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Rustenburg.