Here’s why you should travel lo­cal this win­ter, writes Sonya Schoe­man

Getaway (South Africa) - - Contents -

Last Au­gust, 3.5 mil­lion trav­ellers passed through South Africa’s ports of en­try, ac­cord­ing to Stats SA’s lat­est tourism and mi­gra­tion re­port. This is an in­crease of 14 per cent com­pared to Au­gust 2015. For the same pe­riod, the num­ber of over­seas tourists in­creased by 22,6 per cent, and re­search showed that the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity were here for a hol­i­day. Glob­ally, the United Na­tions World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion re­ported that in­ter­na­tional travel grew by four per cent in the first half of 2016. Mostly, the growth came from China and the United States thanks to their strong cur­ren­cies, but Russia and Brazil showed the op­po­site: a drop in out­go­ing tourism, at­trib­uted to ‘chal­leng­ing eco­nomic con­straints and de­pre­ci­ated cur­ren­cies’. Sound fa­mil­iar? In the cur­rent cli­mate, we can ex­pect a sim­i­lar trend: South Africans will most likely be able to af­ford over­seas travel less. This usu­ally has an up­side, though, of in­creas­ing lo­cal travel. Which brings me to our 22 Su­perb Win­ter Deals story (page 58). Every win­ter, many ho­tels an­tic­i­pate a drop in oc­cu­pancy rates and put to­gether at­trac­tive deals to woo trav­ellers to their beds. Some prov­inces, such as tem­per­ate KwaZulu-Na­tal, have lit­tle need to do it be­cause, as more than one self-sat­is­fied hote­lier from the re­gion said to me, they’re full all-year round. This year, to my sur­prise, some top-end Western Cape and Lim­popo prop­er­ties said the same thing – they sim­ply had no avail­abil­ity, and also that lo­cal visi­tors had in­creased. The rise in in­ter­na­tional tourist num­bers and in­crease in do­mes­tic tourism points to one thing: the win­ter rate phe­nom­e­non won’t last for­ever. At some point, as the de­mand for bed nights con­tin­ues to grow, there will be no ‘low sea­son’. So why not take ad­van­tage of the deals we’ve found for you this win­ter? There are some ex­cel­lent ones – plus, we’ve ne­go­ti­ated ex­tra dis­counts on the win­ter dis­counts just for our read­ers. Go on. Grant your­self a mid-year treat!

5 June is #WorldEn­vi­ron­men­tDay. Show us how you’re cel­e­brat­ing it: send us a pic tagged #Get­away­toNa­ture and you could win one of three 12-month sub­scrip­tions

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