How can we profile the South African domestic traveller?

With a potential 3,6 million South African domestic travellers keen to explore the country, South African Tourism decided to join forces with ASATA and start actively selling holidays in South Africa.

But who is the South African traveller and how can travel agents best target him or her? SA Tourism did the research and revealed there are three important groups of potential travellers in South Africa:

  • BUILD: “I have the means to travel, but am not travelling yet.” There is a need to BUILD the culture of travel in this group.
  • CONVERT: “I travel, but only for work.” There is a need to CONVERT this group to start travelling for leisure holidays.
  • DEFEND: “Been there, done that!” This group is mature in terms of holiday travel, so there is a need to DEFEND and ensure up-sell

By far, the largest group of travellers are the BUILD travellers. They have started dreaming about holidays and would like to de-stress, explore the country and go spend time with their friends and family at the sea. The downside is that these potential travellers have a very limited budget and are not very likely to use a travel agent. They prefer to do their own bookings through travel booking websites.

The convert group probably presents more opportunities for travel agents. These travellers don’t want to stay with ‘oom and tannie’ at the coast. Instead they want to break away from the daily treadmill and really treat themselves by doing absolutely nothing or by exploring the diversity of the country.

Travel agents who want to reach out to the ‘convert’ traveller will need to remember that these travellers like to plan their trips in advance. They are inspired by events and activities, but they perceive South Africa to be an expensive destination. They are also worried about their home and personal security while on a trip, so make sure to highlight the safety of the chosen destination or accommodation.

Finally, the ‘defend’ travellers have done and seen it all, and offer the travel agents great up-sell opportunities. Defend travellers like to get away from home, relax, spend quality time with their families and broaden their horizons during their holidays.

Also ‘defend’ travellers perceive South Africa to be expensive, and say that they can travel overseas at the cost of travelling domestically. However, they can be swayed to take a trip to attend sports and musical events.

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