The global tourism industry is seeing an increase in travel rebound records

Travelstart and Mastercard have partnered up to help ease the financial burden that comes with increased travel demand. This will cover not just traditional travel expenses, but also other travel-related categories.

With the onset of the travel season and the dissipation of the pandemic fog which brought with it global travel bans, travel and tourism continue to show strong signs of recovery.

The first half of 2022 recorded an estimated 474 million international tourists, compared to 175 million in the same months of 2021.[1] Locally, the first quarter of the year welcomed 1,7 million travellers through South African ports of entry, a 136% increase compared to the same period in 2021.[2]

The rise in local and global travellers is helping to restore the African tourism industry to its pre-pandemic state. Albeit still experiencing the damages the lockdowns ensued, tourism markets in Africa have bounced back in an effort to bolster their economies.

Thanks to this renewed influx of visitors, the local industry is expected to generate 14 million new jobs over the next decade, while the tourism sector as a whole is expected to lead the region’s economic recovery, with a predicted annual GDP growth that will outpace the overall economy for the next 10 years.[3]

Whilst the recovery of the tourism and travel industry will support the economic recovery of the overall continent, experts agree that travellers can expect record-high price increases across travel-related categories.  “As demand for travel goes up, unfortunately, prices follow,” said Travelstart’s founder, Stephan Ekbergh.

In South Africa, the increase in travel fares from flights to hotels can be attributed to a lack of capacity, weak currency and fuel hikes. Globally, fare increases are due to the travel rebound and higher demands, which results in fewer affordable flights, and more people looking for hotel rooms than there are rooms available.

“To mitigate the soaring costs of travel, Travelstart and Mastercard have partnered to offer discounted travel to Mastercard holders in Africa. The partnership comes at a time when demand for business and leisure travel is bouncing back vigorously”, says Ekbergh.

The partnership between the two businesses will see Mastercard holders saving up to 30% on base international and domestic airfares and hotel costs, with the discounts available to all Gold, Platinum, World and World Elite Mastercard cardholders as well as debit, credit, prepaid and commercial Mastercard cardholders.

Ekbergh concludes: “As the African travel season fast approaches, we advise travellers to book as early as possible and to ensure they have adequate travel insurance and cover in place to avoid incurring additional costs.”

The Travelstart discounts are currently available to Mastercard holders in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

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