According to stats, local travellers were the heroes for South Africa’s struggling tourism industry as travel began to fully reopen at the end of last year, and this seems to be the current trend for this year as well.
Mzansi’s holidaymakers are choosing local travel for the second year in a row despite a year marked by rising inflation, fuel shortages, and high flight prices.
When it comes to travel, South Africans are spoiled for choice with the sheer variety of landscapes, climate variations, activities, and vacation spots on offer across the country.
Options include places such as the Karoo, the mountainous Great Drakensberg, and Gauteng city lights, whilst some are choosing to go coastal, with a big portion of these travellers setting their sights towards the Mother City.
According to Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront General Manager Clinton Thom, responsible tourism has taken on an entirely new emphasis as South African travellers turn their attention to the most effective ways to enable their own economy to further recover from the fallout of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
"There has been a great shift among travellers to first think local before they decide to spend their hard-earned money in other parts of the world. Some hotels in Cape Town are already reporting a bumper season, with holiday bookings across the city rapidly filling up for the year-end period,“ said Thom.
The tourism sector is seeing a growth in demand for day experiences, meaning people now want to go to destinations and enjoy daytime activities without having to stay overnight.
Head of Marketing and Communications at online booking platform, Jurni, Tshepo Matlou, added that hiking had become a popular activity among travellers in the country since the pandemic locked them in for a long time, and now, they are free to move freely, so they chose open spaces.
"The travel sector is starting to see a large number of first-timers signing up and trying new destinations. Travellers get the health benefits of doing outdoor activities, which is commendable," said Matlou.
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