Consumer uncertainty is one of the greatest barriers facing the travel industry, and despite cases of COVID-19 stabilizing across South Africa, 70% of South African respondents in a recent survey by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, say they are still extremely concerned about the impact of COVID-19 – in comparison to the 1% that declared they are not concerned. In addition, 74% believe that conditions will worsen over the next six months. This highlights the extent of uncertainty surrounding this global pandemic in the country, which is bad news for the country’s travel industry.
Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData comments: “Right now, brand awareness and credibility is vital. This is a prime time to touch base with consumers and businesses need to be proactive in their approach. Tips on personal health and well-being alongside news about initiatives that have been taken to deal with the pandemic will be well received by this market.
“As the signs of domestic recovery take place in China, all destinations aspire for similar circumstances. The South African tourism industry has pinned hopes on the eventual return to domestic travel, as South Africans took 15.6 million domestic trips in 2019.”
In GlobalData’s latest COVID-19 consumer surveys, responses were collected from South Africa and the UAE to represent the Middle East and African (MEA) region.
Comparing South Africa to the UAE, this country holds a considerably higher amount of COVID-19 cases but respondents were more positive. A total of 42% of UAE respondents thought conditions would get better in the next six months. This likely relates to availability of testing equipment as the UAE holds the third highest testing density in the world.
“Ultimately, no destination is the same in regards to the spread of COVID-19. The number of cases across the Middle East and Africa are much lower than other parts of the world – but attitudes remain uncertain about the ongoing threat of this pandemic”.