A South African Safari holiday is becoming more accessible with more flights and cheaper fares.
Routes between South Africa and Australia are flourishing, with airlines continually reinforcing their presence and launching additional flights between the two destinations.
Qantas recently announced it would move to a daily schedule on its Johannesburg-Sydney route from September 21. Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, said South Africa was a key route for the airline. “South Africa is an important market for Qantas, particularly for business travel and it is important for us to offer our customers the flexibility of daily services.”
V Australia also tapped into the lucrative market between South Africa and Australia with the introduction of twice-weekly direct flights between Johannesburg and Melbourne in March this year. Colin Lippiatt, Manager Corporate Communication Virgin Blue, confirmed the popularity of the route saying the airline was launching a third weekly direct flight on the route in December this year.
“It would be fair to say Australians have always felt an affinity with South Africa and the kind of tourism experiences it offers. We certainly enjoyed very strong loads in the lead-up to, during and after the FIFA World Cup, and these levels are continuing into August, which suggests the destination and our flights are benefiting from the international attention focused on South Africa during the World Cup.” Lippiatt said he was confident in the ongoing success of the service thanks to the strong social and economic ties between Australia and South Africa.
Jonathon Wilson, Director Encompass Africa, said he had noticed an increased interest of Australian travellers in South Africa as a destination. However, expensive fares were an important deterrent. “The average flight price to Europe or America from Australia still remains less than a flight to Africa. But the recent introduction of V Australia has certainly helped lower prices, which is great news for tourism to Africa.”
According to Wilson, there is definitely a growing demand for the increased capacity from Australia. A research study conducted last year by Encompass Africa reported that 59,3 per cent of respondents listed South Africa as an absolute must-see country. Wilson commented: “More Australians seem to be aware of Africa as a result of the increasing African expatriate community living in Australia. We are seeing expats advocating travel to Africa to their new Australian friends, and highlighting the value for money they will get with the Aussie dollar strong against the rand.”
Article by Dorine Reinstein – South African Tourism update