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SA And African Continent: Travel Trends To Look Out For In 2020


While load shedding and water shortages are a reality that can’t be ignored, South African tourist establishments are making headway in addressing them. Cape Town’s water crisis has been addressed with many venues investing in alternative sources and more eco-friendly practices for guest management, such as removing plugs from baths. 

African travel made easy

Another positive aspect to anticipate in 2020 is that travel within Africa is now easier than ever before.  

For decades, Johannesburg has been the main travel hub in the continent, but now whether you’re flying in from Cape Town or Manchester, travelling the continent is very viable. African-based airlines, such as Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airlines, have increased their flight routes and now offer more direct options. 

Direct flight option experience

I and M Futureneer Advisors co-founder Martin Jansen van Vuuren said this will be a notable tourism trend in 2020, and will lead to an encouraging change in travel behaviour. 

“International tourists can now fly directly to Kenya for a wildlife experience; fly directly from Kenya to the Victoria Falls and then fly directly from Victoria Falls to Cape Town, before departing directly from Cape Town to their country of origin.”

Environmental concerns are a big issue and are beginning to guide travel choices, such as choosing local over international destinations or opting for train or bus travel rather than flying by airplane.  

Spekboom combats ‘flight shame’

Cognisant of this, in 2019, South Africa became the first country in the world to directly address the effect of flights on its environment. 

The Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (Satsa), together with South African Tourism, launched an innovative carbon-offsetting initiative. It involves planting carbon-sucking spekboom plants to counter carbon emissions and combat “flight shame”.

Satsa CEO David Frost explained that their hope is for this practice to continue. 

“Satsa and SAT handed out 600 spekboom cuttings, and we hope that these will soon grow to 5 000 plants and from there, to millions. The hope is that each business in the tourism industry will get practically involved in its own carbon-offset programme by planting spekboom. 

“The plant has miraculous carbon-offsetting properties and is an indigenous succulent found in the Eastern Cape. It can sequester more than four tonnes of carbon dioxide a year per hectare planted, making it more effective than the Amazon rainforest at removing CO₂ from the atmosphere.”

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