With almost five million 18–35-year-olds in South Africa having been vaccinated, things are beginning to look brighter for young South Africans looking to resume international travel, embark on new adventures and finally explore some of their bucket list destinations, according to Contiki.
Most of the bookings for 2022 are for Greek Island Hopping, Turkish sailing, European Discovery and European Magic, all multiple destination trips, 9-11 days long, with plenty of included experiences and free time along the way. South Africa is also big on the list, as well as Egypt, Thailand and Ireland.
"Our audience have always been big on adventure and memorable experiences and this trip selection reinforces just how important it is for young people to make up for lost time and see as much of the world as possible. Greece has continued to be a firm favourite year after year, and it’s wonderful to see Turkey up there especially seeing as they have just relaxed their entry requirements for South Africans," says Kelly Jackson, managing director of The Travel Corporation.
Departure-wise, young travellers are planning for travel in May and June 2022 (the start of European Summer) and looking at a minimum of 10 days leave.
In terms of demographics, the average age is 26, consistent with pre-pandemic times. Solo travellers continue to be an important segment for Contiki, with 45% of the bookings made for 2022 being single bookings from South Africa.
"This highlights why group travel companies like Contiki are so successful with people who need a certain degree of independence, but also appreciate the benefits of having all the details sorted for them and the advantage of being in a group and making new friends along the way, without having to pay for a single supplement," adds Jackson.
Overall, it looks like young people are craving island vibes, sunbathing, lots of sightseeing and a healthy dose of adventure for 2022 travel.