Anrieth Symon, Head of Travel at Bryte
The much-anticipated Bryte Travel Index for 2023 has been released. Delving into international travel preferences, patterns, and areas of risks for South Africans travelling abroad.
Despite a 23% increase in delayed international flights, rising travelling costs due to global inflation and higher airfares, and burdensome exchange rates due to a weakened rand, recent statistics show that more South Africans are travelling abroad. At its peak in December 2022, over 557,000 South African citizens departed the country for overseas destinations during the holiday season. Since the start of 2023, the monthly average remains around 350,000.
These numbers support expert predictions that the tourism industry will continue to grow and recover to pre-COVID-19 income levels by 2024.
Risk doesn’t take a holiday
However, with the rise in South Africans exploring new international destinations for business and leisure, the need to educate travellers about travel-related exposures and risks becomes more critical.
“Few experiences match the excitement of discovering new countries, the adventure of exploring a city’s history, discovering new cuisines, and seeing the breath-taking landscapes of other continents. As a premier, proactive commercial risk specialist, our goal for the Travel Index is not to deter South Africans from travelling overseas. In fact, it’s the exact opposite,” explains Anrieth Symon, Head of Travel at Bryte.
“With this report, Bryte’s objective is to protect the public by imparting essential, risk-related travel information. This enables travellers to put preventative measures in place before embarking on their holidays. By creating awareness of the unforeseen risks at specific regional and international destinations, South Africans are empowered with a more realistic outlook about international travel.”
Trouble in paradise
A good example in the Travel Index of travel-related risk exposure is the forced evacuation of almost 20,000 people in Rhodes and Corfu, located in the Greek Islands, due to a searing heat wave and uncontrollable wildfires. More concerning is that as a consequence of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, the United Nations World Meteorological Organisation classified this event as part of the ‘new normal’.
“Global warming has clearly affected weather patterns and environmental ecosystems across the globe. This is why it is essential to inform travellers that realities such as these expose them to new, unfamiliar risks because they are exploring new, unfamiliar travel territories,” says Anrieth.
The report also highlights that health-related exposure is another risk-averse area that international travellers are underestimating. Data from the Travel Index shows that 73% of the value paid for all Bryte insurance claims was attributed to medical expenses.
“To make these learnings even more impactful and relatable, the Travel Index contains real-life case studies of policyholders who met with misfortune during their travels. Ranging from hundreds of thousands of rands to several million, these personal injury stories showcase the catastrophic financial consequences travellers could face without proper risk mitigation planning.”
Read the Travel Index now
For these reasons and more, South African consumers and business travellers considering international travel are encouraged to delve into the Bryte 2023 South African Travel Index before booking their next plane ticket.
Download the Bryte South African Travel Index for 2023