The upcoming Easter season will bring much-needed relief to the local travel sector, which has been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is according to data and insights from local payments provider Peach Payments and its travel industry merchants.
The data shows that Peach Payment’s travel industry clients began to recover in December (traditionally the biggest season for travel) compared to 2020, showing 22 percent growth overall.
Chief executive of Peach Payments, Rahul Jain, said with steady reductions in restrictions since local operators are looking forward to an even better Easter season.
Various local tourism businesses are optimistic about the season and the revenue it could bring.
ResRequest's Business Development manager, Ntando Bhengu, said the company’s partner tourism today showed an immediate drop in bookings when the pandemic hit.
“For both 2020 and most of 2021, the industry relied strongly on domestic travel and - amazingly - domestic travel delivered an average of 40 percent occupation."
RoomRaccoon country manager, Niels Verspui, said the industry fared better in December 2021 versus December 2020 thanks to more relaxed Covid-19 regulations.
“South Africans are always big on their long weekends, with Easter being around the corner - and getting the Friday and Monday off - we expect to see a massive jump in bookings,” said Verspui.
justGo MD Theunis Potgieter said bookings have recovered to their 2019 levels, and December 2021 showed substantial growth over December 2020. “December definitely included some pent-up demand, especially from travellers that have not been able to visit home since the pandemic started.”
Chief executive of Afristay, Rupert Bryant, said that from December 2021 into January 2022 the accommodation portal saw sales return to roughly 80 percent of their pre-pandemic levels.
“For Easter, we are hopeful that sales will return to normal completely and exceed pre-pandemic levels (provided there are no more Covid-19 waves,” said Bryant.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE