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South Africans lean towards domestic holidays in tough times: survey

South Africans prefer value for money and local travel, a global survey has revealed. Stock photo.
South Africans prefer value for money and local travel, a global survey has revealed. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/anyaberkut

Financial constraints are seeing more South Africans opting to take local holidays than overseas travel.

The world’s largest survey of travel intentions by consultancy group Travel Lifestyle Network has found that South Africans’ wanderlust may be above the global average, but their travel purchasing behaviour falls below other markets

Some 179,446 people in 28 countries, including SA, were surveyed during the first quarter of 2022.

Value for money featured highly among the South Africans polled, with 43% indicating that this would have the most impact on their destination selection, compared with 26% of their global counterparts.

At least 27% of South Africans indicated their destination choice would be made based on the experience being relaxing, while 20% were looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and 23% a special offer or deal.

“Interestingly, we saw the percentage of South Africans who see travel as a personal interest (58%), was above the global average of 46%, while 64% of South Africans identified with ‘I like to explore the world as a describes-me statement’ compared with the global average of 46%.

“However, when you look at the actual percentage in the survey results who travel, whether locally, regionally or internationally, this is below the global average,” said Natalia Rosa, CEO of Big Ambitions, the SA member of the Travel Lifestyle Network.

Only 5% of South Africans surveyed had travelled for leisure overseas in the past three to six months, while 15% had bought a travel ticket in the same period.

The survey revealed that only 9% were planning to holiday overseas and 19% were planning to buy a travel ticket.

At least a quarter of South Africans are planning on taking a domestic holiday, according to the survey.

“With the launch of South African Tourism’s Sho’t Left Travel Week in September, a real opportunity exists for domestic travel, with the survey indicating that 67% of those polled have a domestic holiday once a year or more; and 22% once every six months,” said Rosa.

When consumers were asked what factors influenced where they travelled, the top considerations were:

  • value for money (26%);
  • having a relaxing experience (21%);
  • the weather/time of the year (20%);
  • a cultural experience (15%);
  • a once-in-a-lifetime experience (15%);
  • being able to visit friends/family (13%); and
  • good facilities for children/families (12%).

Virginie Le Norgant, president of Travel Lifestyle Network, said: “Our report clearly shows how the rising cost of living is influencing every travel decision made today. Price, not necessarily quality, is going to be a key differentiator to attract consumer spend in the remainder of 2022 and in early 2023.”



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