Market Intelligence
Travel and Tourism South Africa

South Africa Travel and Tourism Trends

The majority of South Africans prefer domestic travel to going abroad. 79% of South Africans prefer to spend their holidays in their country while 21% opted for international travels. This is mainly due to currency exchange rates, South African tourists often looked for destinations where their money would go further, and they could get good value for their travel expenses.

Amongst the most popular types of travel are Family vacations to preferred destinations that catered to family-friendly activities. Given the South African diaspora, visiting friends and family living abroad was another popular reason for international travel. 

South African travelers often sought out experiences that allowed them to immerse themselves in new cultures, try local cuisine, and engage with the local way of life. Souvenir shopping and exploring local markets were common habits, as South African tourists enjoyed bringing back unique items from their travels. Many South African tourists were drawn to adventure tourism, such as outdoor activities like safaris, trekking, and water sports. They often took advantage of the natural beauty of their destination. There is also a growing trend of South African tourists who sought destinations that offered relaxation and wellness activities, such as spa treatments and yoga retreats.

In terms of frequency of travel, nearly 60% of South African tourists travel 1-2 times a year. A major consideration for them is to plan trips well ahead of time, thus saving money by purchasing air tickets and accommodation in advance. It looks like South Africans prefer longer getaways; 50% of respondents claimed their trips last around a week. 34% said that they spend two weeks or more on holidays and 16% spend less than a week. 

For further information, please contact: 

Sanjay Harryparshad
U.S. Commercial Service, South Africa

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