In true New Year style we scour the online space for travel predictions 2018 and look at how these translate to Travel in South Africa.
This time of year is all about travel predictions 2018. A couple of major players in the industry recently released their forecasts, and it’s interesting to look at a few of these in the light of how it affects travel to South Africa.
Here are the most relevant travel predictions for 2018…
The Trump Slump
Despite American reports of a ‘Trump slump’ earlier this year, travel is still regarded as a strong market and not on the decline as initially thought (Prevedere).
Americans and Europeans will continue to travel to South Africa, particularly in the luxury travel group, because of predicted tax cuts for America’s upper class.
The latest South African Tourism and Migration Survey (August 2017) reveals a slight drop in arrivals and departures of foreign travel in the last year, but there were still 3.5 million travellers through our ports during that time, and the highest number of tourists come from: USA, UK, Germany, The Netherlands and France.
Other African countries
It’s time South Africans looked north when it comes to attracting visitors to our shores.
The 10 leading countries visiting South Africa are: Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Gabon, Uganda, Ethiopia, Egypt, Congo, Cameroon and Côte dʹIvoire. Nigeria makes up almost 30% of tourists arriving in the country (statssa.gov.za).
The year ‘bleisure’ became a buzzword
Identified as a trend in 2016 by a Chase Marriott Rewards survey, ‘bleisure’ refers to mixing personal travel in with business travel – the tendency of travellers to stay a few extra days to experience a place visited for business.
The same survey shows that up to 80% of millennials plan personal time while on a business trip. So much so, that business has begun creating policies around this trend (57% of American companies have already gone this route).
South Africans can anticipate longer stays from those visiting on conference or business, and should try and target the conference, business market directly.
Instagram on the up
70% of Instagram content is travel related (NY Post). And travellers, particularly millenials, are twice as likely to upload travel photos whilst on business or holiday (Boston Consulting Group) so, if you’re not already on Instagram and are in the travel industry, consider getting on the social media platform.
Become part of the travel inspiration community for share-worthy places to stay and visit in South Africa.
Experiential travel a biggie
People want off-the-beaten-track, local experiences (something new), not business as usual. Local culinary workshops, cocktail and craft food tastings, and the chance to experience a home-cooked dinner, are some of the biggest draw cards. Nature and music are not far behind.
Top travel activities for 2018 include learning a new skill, going on an epic road trip, or visiting a remote or challenging location.
Nature lodges a trending theme
There is a growing trend amongst travellers (probably the same crowd after experiences) to seek out rustic and unique, rather than just comfortable, and nature lodges are up there on the list of places they seek out.
South Africa has an endless list of nature lodges the country can actively promote.
Wellness getaways keep growing in popularity
Almost twice as many people plan on health and wellbeing trips in 2018, compared with 2017, (booking.com), especially walking or hiking trips as it’s a fantastic way of taking in the local landscape whilst experiencing a sense of wellbeing.
56% of travellers in the survey said they want to do hiking trips in 2018 (cycling, water sport, and yoga retreats are also big attractions).
Travellers, it seems, want to take longer trips (more than two weeks); many of them are planning ‘around-the-world’ trips for 2018 (Jacada Travel).