SA travellers pick alternative destinations

2013-07-25 11:04

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Cape Town - Growing numbers of South Africans are opting for a different kind of holiday with increased volumes of adventurous travellers choosing to spend their down time off the beaten track. 

In a recent study travel agent Harvey World Travel recorded a 63% increase in the number of tourists electing to or showing interest in destinations beyond the traditional. Finland, Mongolia, Jordan and Peru on the more commercial side have all shown up on the South African tourist's radar of late.

"Beyond the norm is becoming part of the norm," says Harvey World Travel managing director Rosemary Moss whose recent research has led the business into offering greater choice in off the beaten track destinations. "Over the past 24 months there has been a surge in enquiries about destinations that, a decade ago, few South Africans had ever considered. Macedonia, Finland, Petra in Jordan and the Finnish laplands have surged in popularity."

Moss adds the 63% increase in interest in these destinations are from an admittedly low base, but it is significant.

"A dipstick survey among queries received has given us a fair idea of the rationale behind considering a new kind of destination," says Moss. "A weakened currency along with shrinking disposable income has, along with the desire to holiday overseas, led South Africans into exploring destinations beyond the traditional. In tandem, I believe that our appetite as a nation of travellers has grown." Moss also believes that tourists already well versed in tradition destinations are seeking new adventures.

In a slowly recovering world economy, tourism as an economic enabler has also returned to a position of importance says Moss. "The contribution of the tourism sector to job creation and overall GDP can never be underestimated and on the flipside we have notice accelerated activity on the part of destinations one could consider beyond the usual." It is this renewed awareness she says that has also influenced travel choices beyond income and adventure considerations.

Moss forecasts the destination-competitive environment to increase in density. "The clamour for disposable income and holiday dollars worldwide will increase as post-recession markets still struggle to correct themselves. Off the beaten track destinations will, I believe, hold an advantage over the traditional as numbers continue to rise."

Read more on:    travel  |  travel south africa  |  lifestyle

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