Despite high petrol prices, airfares, and toll costs, most South Africans are taking a holiday away from home during the festive season this year. The most popular domestic destinations are Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) and the Western Cape, while most of those lucky enough to travel across the border have chosen other parts of Africa as their holiday destination.
According to a survey by research company InfoQuest, only one in five South Africans has decided to stay home during the holiday period, with the other 74% are planning on travelling either domestically or internationally.
InfoQuest noted that approximately one in three of those travelling within South Africa would go to KZN (37%), with 23% heading for the Western Cape and 18% choosing Mpumalanga, which is home to the Kruger National Park.
The image below shows the popularity of each South African province as a chosen holiday destination this festive season.
- KwaZulu-Natal: 37%
- Western Cape: 23%
- Mpumalanga: 18%
- Gauteng: 17%
- Eastern Cape: 15%
- Limpopo: 13%
- North-West: 7%
- Free State: 6%
- Northern Cape: 3%
When asked what type of holiday is preferred, a holiday by the ocean was by far the most preferred (57%), specifically amongst females. A bush holiday was the second choice at 19%, while a holiday near the mountains came in at 15% (and was preferred more by males than females), said InfoQuest.
Regarding those that plan to travel outside of South Africa, the survey found that other parts of Africa are the most popular travel destinations for South Africans, followed by Europe and the USA.
More interestingly, the survey showed that younger individuals (34 years and younger) are more likely to take an overseas holiday. This is because there are more single people in this age category, and it is more cost-effective for them to travel than for a family with children, added InfoQuest.
Of those travelling overseas this holiday season, the most popular international destinations, as outlined by survey participants, are:
- Other parts of Africa: 46%
- Europe (excl. UK): 29%
- The USA: 25%
- Australia: 17%
- The UK: 14%
- Far East: 9%
Whether South Africans travel domestically or internationally, the survey also found that holiday accommodation will be mainly with family and friends and in guest houses or Bed and Breakfasts. The most popular accommodation plans are shown in the table below.
Travellers undeterred despite the cost of travel
Due to the economic challenges faced in 2022, South Africans have been hit with high petrol prices, airfares, and toll costs – which the Department of Transport updated in March 2022. However, this seems to have little impact on those wanting to travel over the festive season in 2022.
Travelling costs are at record highs. Discovery Vitality CEO Dinesh Govender said that festive season airfares would be five times higher this December compared to off-peak periods. Domestic flights between Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban over December have climbed to around R2,000 for a one-way ticket, while some are even as much as R4,000 – meaning you’ll pay roughly between R4,000 to R7,000 for a return flight depending on your location and chosen destination.
Regarding road travel, South Africans with petrol vehicles are now paying R3.85 (19.6%) more for a litre of petrol, while diesel motorists are spending a significant R6.68 (38.7%) more for a litre since the start of the year when the price of 95 petrol was R19.61, and diesel was R17.24.
Adding to the cost of driving are toll fees, which have also increased in 2022. As of 1 March 2022, toll costs have increased by between 4% and 5%. For example, driving from Johannesburg to Cape Town has increased by 4% for a class one vehicle, costing R205.50 in total, while driving to Durban has risen by 5% and will now cost R286.50 in total.
Despite these increases, according to InfoQuest, 50% of holiday goers know they will be spending more than they did in 2021, and this is because South Africans are desperate to get away after two years of limited travel due to the pandemic and the associated travel restrictions.
“It is interesting that only one in five South Africans has decided to stay at home during the holiday period, and this could be influenced by the fact that people may have travelled less over the past two years due to Covid-19 and now feel that they really need a good holiday,” said infoQuest managing director Claire Heckrath.