Google analytics say local is lekker when searching for travel destinations

Google analytics say local is lekker when searching for travel destinations

With travel restrictions eased and the festive season approaching, SA Google trends analytics have shown SA's top neighbouring travel destination is right here at home.

Travel-related analytics between September 25 and October 1 showed SA's most searched neighbouring destination was SA followed by Mozambique, Namibia and Botswana.

Internationally, the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands were in the top searches. South Africans also wanted to know which countries' citizens would be allowed to travel to SA, and whether they could travel to the US, which has the most Covid-19 cases.

Meanwhile, the group Capital Hotels and Apartments said there seems to be a change in traditional booking patterns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Traditionally, our coastal hotels usually perform better than our inland ones [during the festive season]. But this year we may see an increase in occupancy in Gauteng and Pretoria,” said managing director Marc Wachsberger.

Wachsberger believes this is due to people exercising caution with regards to flying.

“I think there will be cautious travellers who prefer not to fly and may look for inland resort hotels for a break away from home. Overseas holidays have probably been postponed too,” he said.

Wachsberger said Capital was able to stay afloat during the lockdown by offering quarantine apartments.

“We released quarantine and self-isolation products during Covid-19 that kept our doors open,” he said.

“More recently, we’ve launched campaigns for our guests let their hair down in a safe environment, and we’ve given them options to do this at our hotels, ranging from socially distanced team building to hosting DJs.”

He said “it seems everyone needs a small break from this year”.

Wachsberger said they would offers 72-hour quarantine sites for people coming into the country.

“Clients can quarantine with us for 72 hours and we provide Covid-19 testing on arrival. They can then go on to have a regular stay with us as soon as they receive the all-clear,” he said.

Lee Zama, CEO of the Federated Hospitality Association of SA (Fedhasa), said with the announcement of SA's borders opening, they were optimistic but cautious.

“We are cautiously optimistic as we wait for the wider opening of borders. We do not expect this year’s revenues to be near the levels of prior years. The industry is ready to receive tourists with the safety protocols we have implemented,” said Zama.