free tickets to south africa

Luring tourists back with free tickets to South Africa.. Image : Supplied

Good news for tourism sector: European tourists eyeing SA shores again

Pent-up demand for travel to South Africa is increasing in Europe following vaccination rollouts and the easing of travel restrictions.

free tickets to south africa

Luring tourists back with free tickets to South Africa.. Image : Supplied

Information released by data analytics company Vacaay indicates that a large number of European users are using its online itinerary planning tool to plan trips to South Africa.

This is good news for businesses in South Africa’s tourism and hospitality sectors who eagerly await the return of international tourists to these shores.


Data analytics company Vacaay reports that momentum is growing for trips to far-away destinations since Europeans have been limited to domestic or short-haul international travel to select neighbouring countries for many months.

“Europe is gaining confidence as new case numbers continue to subside, and this confidence is evident when analysing short to mid-term consumer travel patterns,” said Vacaay’s CEO Pete McKeon.


According to Vacaay, April’s data revealed a 400% increase in the number of European travellers who were exploring long-haul holidays compared with the six months prior. Similarly, South Africa saw a 520% increase in Europeans adding South Africa to their travel itineraries, with game parks, beaches and luxury lodges the most sought-after attractions.

Vacaay says that South Africa is the most popular long-haul travel destination, ahead of the USA and Thailand, for users of its online itinerary planning application. A preference for South Africa shows that Europeans are eager to spread their wings and are planning holidays to long-haul destinations once again.


Vacaay’s CEO Pete Mc Keon said that the data shows confidence and desire to travel to exotic destinations, especially among Dutch, German and Swiss nationals.

“We’re seeing the same trends across key source markets, with German, Dutch and Swiss travellers displaying a prominent shift toward longer flights and extended stays,” McKeon said.

With South Africa’s relaxed entry requirements of only COVID-19 test results for foreign arrivals, and no mandatory quarantine requirement, vaccinated travellers from these countries may once again be inspired to travel to these shores.

Lufthansa, Swissair and KLM currently operate flights to and from South Africa. However, only nationals from Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands are able to travel on these flights.  


There is a need to increase marketing efforts for brand South Africa in the countries where there is a desire to travel to South Africa.

“The data suggests that tourism bodies around the world should be escalating their marketing activities with a focus on the European market, if they aren’t doing so already,” McKeon added.

This comes at a time when South Africa is beginning to reduce its presence abroad by closing several overseas diplomatic missions.  

South African Tourism, the organisation responsible for marketing the country abroad will also see its CEO Sisa Ntshona vacate his position at the end of this month.