The popularity of bed and breakfast establishments in South Africa has increased phenomenally, with numbers growing from 300 in 1993 to an estimated 9 000 in 1997.

Many people consider that starting and running a bed and breakfast business would be fun, but bear in mind that it involves a lot of hard work and long hours. “You have to be a people’s person, be patient and diplomatic. Professionalism and a fair level of business acumen are essential. You need composure and the ability to treat people well. Above all, you must enjoy hard graft.” (Source: “Bed and breakfast anyone?” – see Publications below.)


Where can I learn?

THETA is the relevant body for the Bed and Breakfast industry sector. A skills levy is paid to the Receiver of Revenue and a grant claimed back through THETA. For other training possibilities, contact the Associations listed below.

Associations and organisations

We suggest you first have a look at the listings on AssociationFinder.



Bed and Breakfast Association of South Africa (BABASA)
PO Box 2005,
Groenkloof, 0027.
Tel & Fax: 012 480 2041, Cell: 083 212 5133, Email:

Guest House Association of Southern Africa (GHASA),
27 Tennant Road,
Kenilworth, Cape Town, 7800.
Tel: 021 762 0880, Fax: 021 797 3115, Cell: 082 902 8416, Email:

Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA).


National Accomodation Association of SA


Industrial Development Corporation
(for information on the Tourism Development Finance Incentive Scheme by which the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) provides limited subsidies for certain SMEs in the field of tourism). PO Box 78055, Sandton, 2146. Tel: 011 269 3000 Call Centre: 086 069 3888



Quick tips for marketing your Guesthouse or B&B
No nonsense advice for entrepreneurs in the tourism. A Business Partners feature. Downloadable pdf document.”Bed and breakfast anyone?”
Your Business, August/ September 2002.

Major boost for township tourism” by Talisma Viljoen.
Big News, September 2002.

Study and hard work makes B&B possible”.
Big News, September 2002.

“Start and run a profitable bed and breakfast” by M Taylor.
3rd Edition, October 1999. (Source:

“Starting a bed and breakfast”.
Start and Manage Your Business, August/ September 2000.