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International travellers are flocking to SA, and these are the destinations they plan to visit

 

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After two years of turmoil, the country’s tourism and hospitality industry is now showing strong signs of recovery.

Proof of this is the decision by Sojern, a leading provider of digital marketing solutions for the travel industry, announcing its expansion into South Africa.

A recent travel trends report shows that domestic flights are booked for immediate travel, while many overseas visitors are booking their December holiday trips to South Africa already.

Interestingly, international travellers are booking further in advance in 2022 than they did in 2019, whereas domestic travellers are booking closer to their departure dates than they did pre-pandemic.

Stewart Smith, Sojern’s Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa, said the company was expanding into South Africa to better serve partners and capitalize on the growing post-pandemic tourism boom.

“South Africa was hit harder than many countries by Covid-19, the travel industry in particular across the country was brought to its knees.

“In the aftermath of the Omicron variant in late 2021, the country is now in a fantastic position to capitalise on global travel recovery and Sojern is launching at a brilliant time to help travel marketers remind travellers why South Africa is one of the greatest countries on earth,” said Smith.

Here are some of the top travel trends it’s identified for South Africa in 2022

– Flight bookings are up! In May 2022, flight bookings were up 25% on their 2021 levels.

– Some destinations are recovering faster than others: Destinations like Kimberley and Bloemfontein are up, however, others are still a long way off their 2019 booking and search volumes.

– Flight prices are volatile: Covid-19 caused a drastic drop in inbound flight prices, however international fares into South Africa are now in fact higher than their 2019 levels

– Domestic travel is still booming: 49.9% of flight bookings to South Africa originate in South Africa, demonstrating how crucially important domestic travel is. The UK is 2nd, at 9.3%, with the US ranking 3rd at 5.4%, followed by Germany (4%) and Zimbabwe (2.5%).

How far in advance are people booking?

Most domestic travel is immediate, while overseas visitors are booking their December holiday trips to South Africa already.

Interestingly, international travellers are booking further in advance in 2022 than they did in 2019, whereas domestic travellers are booking closer to their departure dates than they did pre-pandemic.

“For more than a decade, Sojern’s team of data scientists have analysed the complete traveller path-to-purchase, taking a scientific and data-driven approach to digital marketing,” added Smith.

“We work with brands to create integrated marketing campaigns across multiple digital channels helping them engage with travellers wherever they are in their journey, from dream to destination.

“With South Africa remaining a top travel destination for global travellers we see lots of opportunities for growth throughout 2022. We look forward to building Sojern’s operations and supporting the local travel industry in its rebound,” Smith added

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the South African tourism industry.

Tourism contributed 130 billion rand in 2018 and constituted nearly 3% direct contribution to GDP in South Africa, while the tourism sector contributed about 4.5% of total employment.

But according to the Tourism 2020 report released by Statistics South Africa, in 2020, the volume of tourists decreased by 72.6% from 10.2 million in 2019 to 2.8 million in 2020.

Positioning itself as the key partner for tourism professionals who want to be supported in their ongoing recovery, the company has continued to gain market share in the region.

Smith said: “With Sojern, the South African travel industry can now take advantage of the latest marketing technology to drive direct bookings, increase web traffic, develop loyalty programs, and more — powered by world-class machine-learning and data science technology.”

Top destinations in South Africa

According to data, these are the destinations that show major recovery.

Cape Town

International travellers are flocking to SA, and these are the destinations they plan to visit
Cape Town, Picture: martinaH79 from Pixabay

Cape Town in the Western Cape is truly a breathtaking city in south Africa and the world. From its spectacular views to the various adventures, and of course, the good nightlife.

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