With the volatile Rand, staycations – holidays spent in one’s own country – are becoming increasingly popular amongst South Africans looking to take a break.
Premier Hotels & Resorts Group Sales & Marketing Manager, Grant Sandham, explains: “While the country’s exchange rate has been advantageous for foreign tourists, it has put pressure on locals’ pockets – leading to an increase in domestic leisure trips as opposed to international travel.”
Several properties within the Premier Hotels & Resorts portfolio have noted this trend, with the number of local holidaymakers received in 2016 surpassing not only that of 2015, but also the number of international guests – a contrast to the norm in some cases.
Sandham believes that the popularity of staycations will continue, particularly with South Africa teetering on the brink of a possible recession and belts having to be pulled even tighter.
However, he says that there is a silver lining. “With domestic tourism being the backbone of the industry, which contributes about 9% to the country’s gross domestic product, the more people who opt for staycations, the greater the impact on the industry and, in turn, the economy.”
“In addition to stimulating the economy, staycations are better for the environment, given that the need for long distance flights is reduced, which cuts down on CO2 emissions. According to international conservation charity, the World Land Trust’s flight calculator, a return trip for a family of four from Johannesburg to Paris produces 14.69 tonnes of CO2. In contrast, their journey to Cape Town and back would only emit 1.69,” shares Sandham.
He adds that, for him, the most significant benefit of staycations is that people get to discover gems hidden in their own backyard. “South Africa encompasses everything from urban jungles, wildlife and deserts to beaches, mountains and forests, not to mention the cultural melting pot of people. Why would anyone want to go elsewhere?”
“Wherever staycationers decide to enjoy their next ‘holistay’, they will be assured of a World Class African experience at Premier Hotels & Resorts’ 16 properties around the country,” concludes Sandham.
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