Tourists scouting out the best location for their next big trip are increasingly adding hidden gems found off-the-beaten-track, social and environmental credentials and activity-based tourism to their checklist, and with the attractions to tick them all off, South Africa is going from strength to strength as one of the world’s most sought-after holiday destinations.
Millennials in their twenties and thirties, solo travellers and female-only groups are increasingly emerging as some of the most avid travellers nowadays. These are the social groups who are setting the trends, and South Africa is in prime position to capitalise.
Martin Wiest, chief executive of the largest ground handlers of foreign tourists to Africa (Tourvest), explained that travellers are no longer content with going through the motions of a flying visit to all the major guidebook sights.
“They want to see lesser known and relatively un-commercialised places, with Cuba, Iceland, Croatia, and South Africa highly recommended by respected travel websites and publications.
“Additionally, travellers are looking for new experiences instead of mundane sight-seeing tours and South Africa emerged as one of the best adventure travel destinations in 2017, with its wide range of offerings such as safaris, canopy tours, animal interactions, quad biking and hot air ballooning,” he said.
With the aggregation of all the top deals available to tourists now widespread across the internet, a country’s tourism offering has come under increasing pressure to stay competitive on cost, and Wiest highlighted that South Africa is well positioned on that front.
“South Africa is ticking all the right boxes in terms of its affordability, conservation tourism experiences, an original and sophisticated culinary scene, and the very best in adventure offerings,” he said.