The Flight Centre Travel Group, South Africa’s largest travel company, has launched a new domestic travel collection: Homegrown Holidays.
“The Flight Centre Travel Group welcomes the announcement that intra-provincial leisure travel is permitted,” says Andrew Stark, Managing Director Flight Centre Travel Group Middle East and Africa. “Allowing leisure travellers the opportunity to travel within their province is a positive move in the right direction.”
Stark hopes that the new regulations will encourage South Africans to start travelling again. The Group is focusing strongly on domestic travel, South Africa for South Africans, for the next two years.
“We are proud to launch our Homegrown Holidays collection, which is uniquely designed to meet the current needs of South Africans wishing to travel domestically,” says Sue Garrett, Flight Centre Travel Group’s General Manager for Product and Marketing. “We want South Africans to get outside and explore our beautiful country. The Homegrown Holidays collection gives them the type of product and assurance they’re looking for to make this happen.”
Garrett expects local travellers to start dipping their toes into the water with short overnight stays followed by longer road trips and getaways within their province, and later when regulations allow, South Africa as a whole.
“It’s the year of the self-drive road trip and truly experiential travel,” says Garrett. “Homegrown Holidays is designed to meet this desire, giving travellers the product to quickly and safely enjoy holidays that hark back to their childhood or younger days. Think local and regional microcations (holidays shorter than five nights), off the beaten path experiences, hiking weekends, glamping and camping – and even the nostalgia of train travel.
“Millions of international travellers visit South Africa each year and fall in love with our country. Now is our chance to be re-inspired. Travel is no longer about the destination alone. Experiential travel that allows us to truly connect meaningfully with our country, ourselves and others is the driving force behind post-COVID travel. The Homegrown Holidays collection reimagines our fondest holiday memories, rediscovering the simple joy of taking to the open road. We don’t need to travel overseas to have amazing experiences.”
A recent survey conducted by the Flight Centre Travel Group on their platforms showed that 7,546 respondents are ready to travel again, even within their province. 59% of travellers said they would travel within their province, 20% said no, with another 20% saying they would if the deal was good enough. Interestingly, 43% of the respondents lived in Gauteng, followed by 23% in Cape Town and 18% in KwaZulu-Natal.
Ideal local travel destinations or experiences saw beach holidays topping the list, followed by bush breaks, the Garden Route, then mountain adventures and exploring a city. Somewhat surprisingly, only 10% opted for a camping holiday.
While the majority of travellers would feel comfortable staying in self-catering accommodation, hotel and lodge stays were not far behind.
The survey data showed that 43% would be comfortable travelling internationally with 44% voting for travelling within South Africa.
“Although 43% of survey respondents say they would like to travel internationally, it is likely restrictions, regulations and an economic downturn will affect outbound travel,” adds Stark. “We have put in a lot of hard work to create a product that caters to the needs of the South African wishing to explore our country right now.”
Homegrown Holidays comprises of domestic self-drive travel packages, often including self-catering accommodation, national park stays and lodges, as well as a mix of hotels and smaller accommodation establishments.
The Homegrown Holiday collection includes:
- Visiting historic Graaff Reinet
- Camping in the Augrabies Falls National Park
- Road trips to the mountain hamlet of Hogsback
- Glamping in the Kruger National Park
- The Golden Gate National Park, with combos including Bloemfontein and Clarens
- Nine- to 10-night road trips exploring KZN’s coastal route from north to south
- The ultimate South African road trip experience, exploring the timeless Garden Route
- The Eastern Cape’s unspoiled Sunshine Coast
- Kokerboom Food and Wine Route in the Northern Cape and the national parks of the Northern Cape
We know that customer confidence is at an all-time low and that clients need assurance and peace of mind when booking any holiday,” says Garrett. “To this end, we’ve just launched our Moneyback Guarantee, allowing customers the flexibility to cancel their booking more than 24 hours prior to check-in. All customers need to do is contact their travel expert, in writing 24 hours before the intended check-in date, and we will refund immediately – no questions asked.”
“From the beginning, when the first Flight Centre store opened in South Africa 25 years ago, our purpose was to open South Africa to the world and to help South Africans travel. Now this is our focus more than ever – opening South Africa for all South Africans to explore,” concludes Stark.