“South African travellers are looking for something different with a mixture of interesting cities and beautiful beaches within a reasonable budget,” says Regine Miller, marketing manager of iGo Travel.
Miller says the list of up-and-coming destinations favoured by South Africans include Reunion, Zanzibar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cancun and the Philippines.
“Another trend we have noticed is combining more than one country on a trip, for example, Thailand, Seychelles and Abu Dhabi all in one itinerary with a few nights in each country,” Miller says.
Members of the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) gave Business Insider their lists of of the new hotspots South Africans are visititing.
“Searching for the Northern Lights has become a popular South African adventure holiday,” says Angela Wood, general sales manager at Thompsons Holidays. Travellers can choose to stay in glass or snow igloo.
“They also enjoy a husky, reindeer, snow tank or snowmobile safari as well as winter horseback riding,” Wood adds.
“Few places have as many Unesco World Heritage Sites packed into such a small area,” says Annemarie Lexow, sales and marketing manager at Travelvision. “You might say Sri Lanka has been hiding in plain sight.”
Tourists can visit “legendary temples” perched high on prominent peaks. The world’s oldest living human-planted tree is also in Anuradhapura.
Reunion is becoming increasingly popular since visas have been waived for South Africans, says Monica Horn from Harvey World Travel.
“This is a destination with so much to offer instead of a 'typical' beach holiday with interest like small villages in a crater, active volcanoes, etc.”
Packages start from 7 night for around R25,000 per person.
“The island has an unspoilt charm and is a true hidden gem that offers a host of experiences,” says Angela Wood, general sales manager at Thompsons Holidays. It features beautiful beaches, reefs, rainforest, and unique indigenous plants and animals. Seven nights start at R16,000, breakfast, supper and flights included.
“You may think that Malta is one of the smallest islands in the Mediterranean, however, in 2018 the island and its historical capital Valletta was awarded European Capital of Culture status,” says Stephen Howarth, Sure Online operations manager.
South Africans can visit the island for seven nights starting from R17,500 per person - breakfast and flights included.