South Africa is one of Africa’s biggest economies – a young democracy still working to overcome the legacies of several decades of apartheid. The ‘Rainbow Nation’ has largely prospered in the post-apartheid era, leading to rising incomes and more middle-class consumers. However, this is a diverse country of many extremes and divides, and nowhere is this more evident than in the divide between rich and poor.
Travelling abroad is largely undertaken by affluent South Africans, especially to long-haul destinations, while those on lower incomes are more likely to travel domestically in South Africa or to nearby African countries. Approximately one in ten South Africans travel abroad each year, although holiday and leisure travel is only one part of the market. Visiting friends and relatives (VFR) and business travel are both important components of the South African outbound market.