Beside the sluggish economy, there was threats of terrorism to worry about, making South Africans uneasy to travel to destinations that may be unsafe or had recent terrorism threats according to thought leader Group Managing Director of Flight Centre, Andrew Stark.
“Terrorism is having an impact on South African travellers, with an increasing number eschewing destinations like France, Egypt, Kenya and Turkey which have been hit by terror attacks,” Stark said.
Not much will change for South African travel this year.
All is not doom and gloom though, Stark added that general travel in South Africa will be cheaper and that there are still budget friendly destinations that South Africans will flock towards when taking vacations.
He pointed out that South Africans, both ordinary and corporate citizens, were cutting back on travel and will continue to do so in 2017.
“Local and closer-to-home travel is booming compared with international travel, and corporates are cutting back on travel where possible. This means that some have swapped – first to business class, business to premium economy class and from economy class to a conference call.
“However despite challenging times, corporates are always looking for new ways to increase or generate new business and this generally always means venturing into new territory, which can have a positive effect on travel. Nonetheless, the struggling economy and its impact on the currency had a huge impact on travel in 2016, and will continue to do so in 2017,” he said.
While the more expensive destinations are likely to take a knock in 2017, value-for-money destinations like Zanzibar, Thailand and Mauritius will continue to draw South Africans. Local travel will also remain robust.
“Travel is resilient, and new markets, mediums and customer types will open up in 2017. Customers will continue to dictate the ways in which they prefer to be interacted with, which will push new boundaries,” he added.