Safari holiday specialist Travel Butlers has reported record sales of holidays to South Africa as people take advantage of the current strength of the pound against the South African Rand.
This week, Managing Director Paul Campbell spoke about the impact the fluctuating exchange rate has had on sales: “Two years ago, 1 pound was worth around 12 South African Rand. This has gradually changed over time and in January 2014 1 pound was worth around 18 Rand on average, and briefly peaked at over 18.5. This means that holiday makers are now getting 50% more for their money…and that is before taking into account the huge number of special offers that are currently on offer.”
The impact of the exchange rates and special offers is that Travel Butlers is reporting passenger bookings to South Africa up by more than 60% in January, with many people also taking advantage of the exchange rates to book more expensive hotels.
As Paul explains, “It is probably easier to see the impact of these changes if we look at the cost of staying at one of South Africa’s best known 5* safari lodges. A three night stay at Bayethe Lodge in the Shamwari Game Reserve in July 2012 would have cost £2100 for 2 people if booked in January of that year. The equivalent three night stay in July 2014 will only cost £1160 at current exchange rates - a saving of around 45% or nearly £1000.”
Travel Butlers believe that the combination of favorable exchange rates and numerous special offers is a win-win situation for both hoteliers and holidaymakers after several difficult years. As Paul recalls, “South Africa had a great reputation for value for money ten years ago. This was somewhat eroded around the time of the Football World Cup in 2010, when many hotels started to charge 5* prices for 3* services, and visitor numbers suffered a bit as a result. It has taken a couple of years, however we believe that South Africa is now better value for money than ever before, and this can only be good news for hoteliers and holidaymakers alike.”