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Mauritius becomes top spot for SA holidaymakers

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South Africans’ summer holiday trends have changed dramatically since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with traditionally popular destinations falling out of favour because of travel restrictions.

SA’s Business Insider cited latest booking data from online travel agency, FlightSite, as revealing that some international destinations which were popular among South Africans prior to the pandemic in 2019 have fallen off, largely due to ongoing travel restrictions and limited flight offerings.

Thailand is one such destination which featured prominently in FlightSite’s December and January bookings before the pandemic hit. In the latest data, Business Insider said Thailand is not even mentioned in the top-five booked international destinations.

Mauritius, on the other hand, opened to fully vaccinated South Africans in October, with three airlines – FlySafair, South African Airways (SAA), and Air Mauritius – offering direct flights to the island throughout the summer season. 

While Mauritius has been popular with South African tourists in the past, summer bookings for destinations like Thailand, the United States, and Switzerland have all often ranked ahead of island. 

This summer holiday season, it’s different. Mauritius scored the highest booking numbers, followed by the Maldives in December and Germany in January, according to FlightSite.

Unlike Thailand, fully vaccinated South African travellers to Mauritius have access to the whole island. Like with Thailand, further testing is required during a stay on the island. 

“Usually, when travel supply exceeds demand cheap flights can be found. But the economics under COVID-19 are entirely different to anything we’ve experienced before,” said Rian Bornman, the MD of FlightSite.

Original article at Business Insider

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