Domestic leisure travel could soon resume

CAPE TOWN- South Africa’s international tourism industry is only likely to resume operations in 2021 according to the Tourism Department, however domestic travel may soon be an option for locals.

Airbnb has announced new tourism partnerships with Wesgro (Tourism, Trade and Investment agency in the Western Cape) and Tourism KwaZulu-Natal to promote domestic travel as lockdown measures start to ease in the country. 

The collaboration will find ways to drive domestic tourism and support local destinations with their recovery efforts. 

Airbnb, Wesgro and TKZN will be sharing travel trends and data on how South Africans are planning to travel as lockdown measures begin to ease, leveraging the Airbnb platform to shine a spotlight on featured regions, and will be sharing tools to help users tap into online and in-person Experiences on Airbnb.

According to Airbnb data, domestic tourism is strong in the country, as South Africans accounted for over 80% of trips booked on Airbnb this January and February. Unlike other business models where revenue does not remain in communities, Airbnb directly benefits local communities, with hosts keeping 97% of their earnings.

Earlier this week the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) revealed that domestic leisure and corporate travel could be expected to resume on 1 September and by March 2021 all international borders will be fully open for travel. 

Country Manager for South Africa at Airbnb, Velma Corcoran, says, “we know that South Africans love to travel locally and it will be central to the recovery of tourism. We are so pleased to be able to work with Wesgro and Tourism Kwaulu-Natal, to respond innovatively to the challenges we face and to drive domestic tourism,”.

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