Global travel in 2016 is still affordable - Trafalgar

By Jessica Anne Wood

Can South Africans afford to travel in 2016? With the weakening Rand, many may feel that an overseas trip is out of their reach as travel costs continue to rise. While it is true that the exchange rate may not be in your favour, Theresa Szejwallo, managing director for Trafalgar, highlighted that the holiday company’s Rand Price Guarantee will help make travel more affordable for South Africans.

Trafalgar priced their 2016 Europe and Britain brochure in August 2015. The company highlighted that the Rand was 30% stronger to the Euro at the time compared to where it is now. The company will continue to honour the prices determined in 2015 in their Rand Price Guarantee.

This means that South African travellers will in effect be paying about 30% less than what the trip would be worth if the current Rand/Euro exchange rate was taken into account and factored in. In addition, Trafalgar is also offering an early payment discount of 10%.

Szejwallo stressed that if paid by 29 January 2016, travellers can get a 10% early payment discount off the brochure price.

“It's at times like these, when the Rand is sinking to all-time lows against the major currencies that Trafalgar shines through with their fixed pricing. The travelling public won't be receiving revised invoices from us and can rest assured knowing that they won't have to fork out more money for their dream holiday this year,” stated Szejwallo.

Six travel predictions for 2016
Gavin Tollman, CEO of Trafalgar, an international holiday company, noted that while trends are fleeting it is more important to be aware of how the travel industry is evolving rather than what is trending. He offered six predictions for how travel and tourism will take shape in 2016.

1.       Engaged tourism:Many may be wondering what this is. In simple terms, engaged tourism refers to the want of travellers to be truly involved in their travels, not only with the places they visit, but also with the people that they meet. In the past travellers were interested in visiting an area, sightseeing and snapping pictures before moving on to the next site. However, Tollman pointed out that this is no longer the case.

“[Tourists] want to feel that they have gained an understanding of the culture, the environment – and many want to see the positive impact of their visit from both an economic and ecological perspective. For this reason, experiential travel, as well as voluntourism, will see continued growth,” said Tollman.

2.       ‘Do it for me’:Time is valuable, and is appears that we are becoming increasingly more time deprived, according to Tollman. People are looking for convenience and ways that they can save time, such as using companies like Trafalgar.

“Travellers are becoming selective and desirous for turnkey travel solutions and experiences. Travel businesses; airlines, cruise lines, travel companies, guided or tour operators, all need to explore where they can add value by creating a hassle free travel , thus creating time for travellers to focus on themselves and their experiences,” noted Tollman.

3.       Destination, Iceland:Many travellers are increasingly looking to travel to Iceland, with Tollman stating that he is wanting to travel there himself for the first time in 2016. “Accessing the mysterious, as well as the exploration of nature is becoming an ever-growing quest of many travellers. To wonder across wild landscapes where few have been before, discovering the beauty of raw nature is why Iceland is topping the 2016 wish lists of a number of seasoned travellers across the globe.”

4.       Connecting and disconnecting:While people are wanting to get away and ‘unplug’, they are also wanting to share their travel experiences with their friends and family over social media. “Staying connected is now an imperative to some. I personally find this ironic, as it is contradictory to the alternate travel trend of digital detoxing,” said Tollman.

5.       The solo traveller:Between 2013 and 2015, the number of single travellers increased from 15% to 24%, according to Visa’s 2015 Global Travel Intentions Study, with Trafalgar experiencing this trend too. Tollman believed that this will continue to grow as it becomes easier for people to travel alone, with travel companies catering to this growing demographic.

6.       Pop culture:Ever wished that you could immerse yourself in the world of ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Game of Thrones’, or any number of popular television or movie franchises? Tollman noted that the characters from these shows have brought their worlds to life, becoming a source of inspiration for travellers of all ages. In light of this destinations that have some link to a pop culture phenomenon are becoming popular.

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