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South African travel trends in a post-Covid world

Future looks bright for travel. Picture: Pixabay

Future looks bright for travel. Picture: Pixabay

Published Aug 1, 2022

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After being inside and unable to travel for two years, people are finding there is no time like the present to travel.

So, don’t waste time to put travel on a hold and exploring the world.

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MICE sector is back in action

Scrapping of South Africa’s final lockdown restrictions has opened the door wide for the meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (MICE) sector to get back to business.

“The MICE sector has been in a chokehold with the 50% capacity restriction, holding back major business-and-economy-boosting events and conferences, and venues such as hotels, which get much of their business from meetings and conferences, along with the accompanying accommodation requirements,” says Tim Cordon, Senior Area Vice President, Middle East & Africa at Radisson Hotel Group.

“The release of these restrictions gives us the capability to give full throttle to this side of our industry again, and return it to – and hopefully exceed – pre-pandemic levels,” Cordon says.

Hotel prices have dropped

Data shared by global travel search engine Cheapflights.co.za for the period 17 to 30 June showed an almost 50% decrease in hotel prices across all-star ratings compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019.

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Hotels are striving to make accommodation prices attractive for travellers, and as a result, the prices are looking more affordable right now. Additionally, hotel groups with rewards systems are bolstering their offerings to give more to those who join these rewards and loyalty programmes.

Radisson Rewards, for example, offers room discounts, member-only offers and more. But there are other travel rewards initiatives, too. If you are planning to travel any time soon, now is the time to join these programmes.

Live anywhere

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It’s no secret that more people are moving away from cities and wanting to live in different parts of the world – and work from there. Travel platforms and destination marketing organisations have noticed this and are making an effort to support this.

Airbnb has announced that it would partner with 20 destinations around the world to make it easier to live and work anywhere, including Cape Town.

Earlier this year, Airbnb launched its Live and Work Anywhere initiative to identify some of the most remote worker-friendly destinations in the world, and support governments and Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) in helping to revive tourism and provide economic support to communities.

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Over the next few months, Airbnb will work closely with Cape Town Tourism on a range of initiatives, including building a dedicated custom-built hub for Cape Town that will showcase top local long-term stay listings as well as important information relating to entry requirements and visa policies to attract remote workers.

Airbnb will also partner with Cape Town on educational campaigns to promote responsible hosting and travel as a remote worker. The Cape Town hub is expected to launch later this year.

Sustainable travel

Younger travellers made up of Millenials and Gen-Zs are looking for brands with a conscience, companies that demonstrate corporate and social responsibility, and brands that genuinely embrace environmentally responsible practices.

Theirs is not a “use and dispose of” generation, but one that lives in a state of mindfulness, connected to and aware of their impact on the planet.

This translates into responsible tourism, offsetting carbon footprints, and choosing service providers who can meet these criteria. Whichever way they do it, travel is back on the agenda and, with it, the desire to meet the needs of all types of travellers.

In a world that is eager to travel and with tourism operators stepping up to adapt to the changing needs of the modern traveller, the future looks bright for travel.

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