Dream 2018/19 holidays to plan for: Where South Africans are heading

2018-08-06 14:52 - Selene Brophy
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South Africans have a healthy appetite for travel. Data rankings from top local online booking agents have revealed the popular air routes and breakout destinations heading into 2019 - based on bookings from January 2017 up until June 2018. 

FlightSite has shared some of their top booking data analysis, highlighting top air travel rankings for Economy, business, as well as top destinations according to bed-nights booked.

TravelStart data shows most in demand domestic and international air routes which originated at several ACSA Airports including, OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport.

So, if you've been wondering where South Africans are planning their next big break and why, here's what the trends show. 

Routes on the Rise:

Flights to London Heathrow from Johannesburg increased by 88% between 2014 and 2017 and regional destinations such as Windhoek and Harare increased by 51% and 118% respectively. 

TravelStart says international routes between Cape Town and the UK and Namibia have seen noticeable increases since 2014.

  • CPT – LHR bookings increased by 62% between 2014 and 2017
  • CPT – WDH bookings increased by 107% between 2014 and 2017
  • CPT – WVB bookings increased by 219% between 2014 and 2017

As Durban’s King Shaka Airport has attracted more international carriers, outbound passenger numbers have increased with Dubai (+273%) and London (+118%) showing the most growth between 2014 and 2017.

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Top Air Destinations for Economy:  

  • Johannesburg
  • London 
  • Cape Town
  • New York 
  • Denpasar
  • Phuket
  • Windhoek
  • Dubai
  • Livingstone
  • Amsterdam

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 Top Air Destinations for Business:

  • London
  • New York 
  • Johannesburg
  • Paris 
  • Hong Kong
  • Cape Town
  • Rome
  • Dubai
  • Amsterdam
  • Milano

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The Most Popular Air Routes and Destinations for South Africans in 2018:

Travelstart says, for the first time its data shows Harare tops the list of most popular international destinations for flights originating in South Africa in 2018.

While the top spots were always held by London (2014 and 2017) and Windhoek (2015 and 2016), Harare’s breakout growth this year may be a result of the changing political climate in Zimbabwe.

London remains an important tourism and business air route for South Africans and has seen increased capacity with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and SAA offering direct flights between Heathrow Airport and South Africa.

READ MORE: New 2018 routes travellers can take advantage of

From October 2018, BA will launch direct flights between Durban and London marking the first time three of South Africa’s largest airports are served with non-stop connections to Heathrow at the same time.

Despite being a long-haul destination, an estimated 16 hours one way from Johannesburg, New York City has become a top five contender for the first time in 2018 moving past Dubai which is operated by Emirates direct from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban daily. 

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Top 5 International Destinations 2018

  • Harare (Zimbabwe)
  • London (UK)
  • Windhoek (Namibia)
  • Mauritius
  • New York City (US)

According to FlightSite's Booking data, Cape Town ranks tops with its users when it comes to accommodation bookings, followed by Sun City and Durban when it comes to Shot Left stays. Other local outliers making the mark include the Cape Winelands dorpie of Stellenbosch and the Overberg's Hermanus. 

Top international destinations of note featuring in FlightSite's top 25 destinations according to hotel bookings for South Africans are Thailand's Phuket, New York in the US and capital city Denpasar to Indonesia's Bali. Europe also makes a strong showing with the likes of Rome, Paris, Athens and Barcelona. 

While regional favourites such as Livingstone and Mauritius are still very much on the R&R lists of locals. 

Top 25 Hotel Destinations by Bed-nights:

  • Cape Town
  • Phuket
  • Sun City 
  • Durban 
  • London  
  • Dubai
  • New York 
  • Johannesburg
  • Denpasar

 

  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Athens
  • Istanbul
  • Stellenbosch 
  • Barcelona
  • London
  • Mauritius
  • Orlando
  • Port Elizabeth
  • Venice
  • Hong Kong
  • Amsterdam
  • Singapore
  • Livingstone
  • Hermanus

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