A Spotlight on South African Travel Trends
Loosening restrictions in South Africa means an uptick in travel intent.
*FLIGHT DATA THROUGH 29 JUNE, 2022
After two long years, the South African government announced on June 22 that it was scrapping all Covid-related regulations. Masks are no longer mandatory, limits on the size of gatherings are no more, and travellers will not need to produce a vaccination certificate or negative Covid-19 test to enter the country.
The summer months in the northern hemisphere are considered low season in South Africa. However, in addition to the positive news regarding loosening restrictions for South African travel, US carriers have also introduced several non-stop flights. As such, people are seeing new opportunities to visit.
Here’s what we are seeing in terms of interest in travel to South Africa, and what it means for travel marketers.
When we look at South Africa, travel started picking back up again in late 2021 and this continues into 2022.
In fact, by May 2022, flight bookings were up 25% on their 2021 levels.
Travel Marketing Tip: Travel intent and bookings are up to South Africa. Destination marketers, now is the time to take advantage of this upswing in interest. Capture attention by using striking video assets while travellers are searching online.
When we compare the first half of 2022 to 2019, we see changes in lead times—the period between booking and when the person actually travels.
International travellers are planning further in advance in 2022 vs. 2019, showing increased confidence that borders will remain open later in the year. On the other hand, domestic travellers are booking trips closer to departure dates than pre-COVID. Easing of lockdowns in June allowed domestic business travel to resume, and intra-state travel relaxed a month later. We continue to see demand increase to places that are easy to get into and out of.
Travel Marketing Tip: While travel may be on the upswing, the evolving nature of the virus means that travel restrictions remain a possibility. So, make your hygiene procedures and cancellation policies easily accessible on your website. Consider including or maintaining some of this information on your ad creatives.
Domestic travel continues to be strategically important to South Africa as travel recovers.
Domestic travel accounts for nearly half of all travel into South Africa. The major international origin markets include the UK, the US, and Germany.
Travel Marketing Tip: Regardless of where your customers begin their journey, Sojern uses intent data to reach people looking at your destination or might be interested in your destination based on similar searches they’ve done, so you make better, smarter use of your advertising spend.
For more travel insights, remember to check out our Travel Insights Dashboard.
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Cory Jobe shares his always-on marketing experience with Sojern.
“Working with Sojern, it’s not just a cookie-cutter solution, as Sojern listens to our needs and recommends what’s best for our hotel. We have someone to bounce ideas off of, and Sojern gives us a higher-level perspective on how we can get the best value for our investment.”
“We love the simplicity of the solution and how clearly we can see results. The technology works so well that it leaves us to do our other day-to-day jobs. We are seeing increased interest in our superior and deluxe rooms as a result, which is improving the overall average booking value. I think we will be long-time customers for as long as Sojern continues to perform the way it does today!”
"Sojern and Roiback have a great relationship and work together to maximise our direct bookings. We have regular check-ins to review performance, and both Sojern and Roiback give us insights and recommendations for improvement. And the results speak for themselves! Their collaboration has been very helpful for us."
"I’ve definitely seen increased bookings. In fact, January through March is usually a quiet period for us, but this year, leisure bookings are double what we normally see, and this is due to Sojern. As a small hotel, I really value the relationship we've built with the Sojern team. You can tell when someone is genuine and willing to work with you, and I feel that with Sojern."
"I worked with Sojern at a previous hotel and had a great experience, so I knew I wanted to partner with them when I joined Ticino Hotels Group. Their Pay on the Stay package gives us a cleaner, more reliable business model to help with our direct booking strategy, and we’ve seen the results. To anyone considering Sojern for their digital marketing needs—I say go for it!"
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