Cape Town, Mauritius tops for SA travellers

2013-04-10 12:29
Johannesburg - Cape Town remains a firm favourite among South Africans travelling domestically while Mauritiustook pole position during the 2012 and early 2013 holiday seasons followed closely by Thailand. Durban and surrounds occupies second place in travel franchise Harvey World Travel's compilation of destination preferences based on a sample of 100 000 bookings between January 2012 and January 2013. 

South Africans continue to travel in large numbers says Harvey World Travel managing director Rosemary Moss. "While continued economic and exchange rate pressure does impact volume, indications are that travellers compensate financial pressure against value destinations and shorter travel periods." Moss says that the average time-range spent travelling in 2012 was between 3 and 10 days. "Value destinations will continue to drive consumption during 2013," she says, "and holiday duration will continue along the time-spent trend of last year."

Top destinations in South Africa were led by Cape Town (30%) followed by Durban and surrounds (22%), the Garden Route (17%), the Cape Winelands (11%), Game Lodges (10%) and surprisingly Johannesburg (8%). Regionally Harvey World Travel reports that Victoria Falls, Zambia and Namibia rank ahead of other destinations in the SADC region. Provincial travel shows the Western Cape as the most popular followed by KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng. 

Internationally Mauritius (24%) leads the way with Thailand on its heels (23%) followed by Europe, the United States and the Maldives. "Italy (7%) topped the charts in terms of European destinations followed by Greece (5%), Ireland (3%) and France (3%)," says Moss. In the United States family holidays seem to trump all else with Orlando (Disneyworld) well ahead of New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles which occupy second, third and fourth positions respectively. "Miami, as a hub for Caribbean cruising, settles in at fifth most popular US destination."

Moss says that South Africans will continue to be under financial pressure during 2013 with the exchange rate influencing decision making significantly. "Our weakened currency will impact on disposable holiday spend as well as travel inflation across the board. Value will continue to be the main driver of any spends with destinations like Zanzibar expected to increase in popularity this year in tandem with all inclusive resort type packages."

Domestically it is expected that Cape Town will maintain its pole position but, says Moss, Durban is a destination being rediscovered. "The KwaZulu Natal coast represents fantastic value and Durban central has made a positive turnaround. The climate, affordability of the area as well as the attractive North Coast leading up to Ballito is growing steadily in popularity. Its proximity to Gauteng also makes it ideal for driving holidays." Moss expects Durban and Cape Town to be on a par in terms of popularity by 2015. 

While the numbers quoted are based solely on Harvey World Travel managed travel, Moss says that it is likely agood indicator of the entire industry. "Our footprint across all major centres in South Africa as well as our large customer base has enabled the business to extract large samples of travelling habits and, in parallel to external aspects and economic pressures, forecast future behaviours."

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