Who is the South African domestic traveller?

Local is lekker, or so they say, and while selling domestic travel has not really been the preserve of South Africa’s travel agents in the past, this is all about to change as South African Tourism works with ASATA members to promote and sell holidays in South Africa.

Did you know that most adult South Africans have never taken a holiday in the country? That Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) is the main reason that South Africans travel domestically? And that unaffordability is the main reason that South Africans do not travel in their own country.

SA Tourism has crunched the numbers and seen that the number of domestic trips, total number of domestic travellers and domestic travel spend are declining, which means we are behind most destinations when it comes to what domestic travel vs international travel contributes to the economy.

Useful for you to know if you work in travel is that out of 21.7m South Africans over the age of 18 and earning a personal monthly income, some 3.6m adults would be targetable as holiday travellers.

So why do South Africans go on holiday?

South Africans go on holiday to relax mostly and their destination choices are influenced by friends’ recommendations and travel websites and affordability. According to research conducted by SA Tourism, travellers prefer to manage bookings themselves using online travel booking websites.

Holidays are a reward for the hard work they put in their demanding daily routines and a holiday allows them to reflect and refocus, which is important to South Africans.

South Africans believe that travelling domestically for holiday allows them to experience new and different things in the country.  They prefer outdoor, nature-based destinations with the beach being a firm favourite, but the mountains and bush are also appealing.

Because of the high level of VFR travel conducted by South Africans, holidays are also there to help travellers reconnect with their family. Good to note is that most travellers believe that VFR trips restrict their freedom and enjoyment, and burden them with work.

Familiarity brings a degree of boredom to South Africans; thus, they go for holidays to new places in search of different experiences and to break-away from the monotony. Travellers feel restricted at home and wish to get away with friends to be themselves and have fun.

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