With the festive season in full swing and holidaymakers searching for the ideal accommodation, more people are having shorter stays, says Wesgro. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town - With the festive season in full swing and holidaymakers searching for the ideal accommodation, more people are having shorter stays and choosing self-catering accommodation, according to Wesgro.

Wesgro head of leisure, tourism and trade Inge Dykman said: “From an international perspective we see hotel bookings in and around Cape Town and interest in the Cape Winelands and Garden Route.

“Our UK and German market loves to do self-drive experiences, so they also consider options such as Airbnb.”

Holidaymakers may also be looking for more inexpensive alternatives such as camping, Dykman said.

"There's been an increase in bookings at our municipal camping sites," she added.

Homeowners in desirable areas may also choose to offer accommodation by becoming a host via travel and tourism apps such as Airbnb.

According to last year's internal data, Airbnb revealed that “in 2018 alone, the estimated direct economic impact of Airbnb in the country was more than $685 million (R10.2 billion), which is an increase from the previous report.”

Based on the same data, Velma Corcoran, Airbnb country manager for sub-Saharan Africa, said: “Locally, there has been a significant increase in host earnings on Airbnb in smaller towns.

"Mossel Bay, for example, saw a year-on-year increase of over 80%, while Saldanha Bay in the Cape saw an increase of almost 60% over the same period.

"Host earnings in Garden Route towns such as Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and George increased by 48%, 58% and 74% respectively.”

Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “Airline forward bookings from international markets have recovered since 2018, and between December 2019 and May 2020 for Cape Town has seen a positive increase with bookings from the US up by 11%, Germany up by 20% and the UK up by 30%."

Maynier added that “domestic trips taken have increased although tourists are budget conscious, which likely impacts on average spent every day.

"In comparison to 2018, we’re seeing an increase of 8.6% in domestic trips taken over the last six month, which is a positive trend for the upcoming festive season.”

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