There is much speculation in the media and the tourism industry about travel and travel to Africa in 2021.
Part ONE of a two-part post regarding Travel to Africa and Travel Trends in 2021
What do we know, and what are the trends that are becoming evident thus far for Travel and Travel to Africa in 2021?
The year 2020 has served as a massive wake-up call for the world. It has shown how quickly the world, as we knew it, could be brought to a grinding halt, and that was soon followed by the obituaries to loved ones and dear friends that lost their battle with Covid-19.
What do we know?
People from around the world are sick and tired of being controlled under lockdown regulations. We are social creatures and there is an abundance of evidence from all quarters of the world that people are itching to travel and explore again.
We do know that Social Distancing, wearing of Face Masks, and producing a negative PCR test for the Coronavirus is the new normal, if you wish to travel.
All responsible destinations, carriers, and operators have also implemented a host of health protocols to negate the risk of infections as much as possible. Once you have been fortunate enough to get vaccinated you will, in all probability, still be required to produce a negative PCR test result because no vaccine is 100% effective for 100% of the people. It remains the traveler’s responsibility to safeguard themselves.
Who will travel?
Leading agencies and operators in the industry have predicted since late in 2020 that it will be the younger generations that will be the first to return to international travel. It is the Gen-Z and Millennial travelers that will probably lead the charge.
However, Tui, one of the “giants” of the travel industry, has reported a surge of bookings in the UK to the tune of an increase of 145% for the next northern hemisphere summer. Also of great interest, is that many of the bookings are from older travelers. Now that the vaccination program is being rolled out successfully, it is the older travelers that have the peace of mind to start booking their travel for 2021. We are now entering an encouragingly new phase that can be described as pure Vaccine Optimism.
This is underpinned by news released in the UK on Friday 15 January, that over 3.5 million people had already received the Covid-19 vaccination with over 447,000 having already received their second jab. The number of those already vaccinated is now greater than the total number of Covid-19 infections recorded in the UK.
This sense of optimism in the UK should therefore spread to the other countries across Europe and North America as the number of vaccinations is ramped up. This is great news for the tourism industry as a whole and specifically for tourism to Africa.
In South Africa, we wait with great expectation for the violent storm of Covid-19 to start settling down. Our Safaris are ready to run. Our Safari Partners and suppliers are primed and ready. We are all in the starting blocks ready to run our greatest race yet.
Look out for the next post where we explore the Travel Trends in 2021 that are coming to the fore.