With summer upon us, Airbnb has revealed data showing that international travel to South Africa is returning, with nights booked on the platform in the first three quarters more than doubling compared to the same period last year. While the Western Cape remains a popular destination for tourists visiting South Africa, Limpopo’s Bela-Bela has taken the top spot on Airbnb’s list of local trending destinations for 2022.
More than 1.1 million overseas tourists had already visited South Africa by October, compared to just 250,000 during the same period in the previous year. The traditionally busier summer months, especially November and December, are expected to boost South Africa’s tourism recovery even further along.
Many of these tourists have chosen Airbnb stays as their accommodation of choice while travelling across South Africa. The online marketplace for short-term homestays recently revealed that South African hosts collectively earned R1.4 billion during the previous summer season, with even greater expectations for the holiday period.
Using booking and search data, Airbnb also compiled a list of “top trending destinations in South Africa for international guests in 2022.” The list includes 10 destinations across South Africa, with 40% of these located in the Western Cape.
These trending destinations are expected to welcome more international travellers during the summer season, with many of these tourists looking for new and unique experiences.
Airbnb’s top trending destinations in South Africa for international guests in 2022:
- Bela-Bela, Limpopo
- Witzenberg, Western Cape
- Theewaterskloof, Western Cape
- Saldanha Bay, Western Cape
- uMngeni, KwaZulu-Natal
- Buffalo City, Eastern Cape
- Ray Nkonyeni, KwaZulu-Natal
- Msunduzi, KwaZulu-Natal
- Drakenstein, Western Cape
- Ndlambe, Eastern Cape
These trending destinations for the summer season highlight the up-and-coming hotspots for international travellers and their desire for new experiences. The top origin countries for guests visiting South Africa include travellers from the UK, Germany, US, Netherlands, and France.
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