With many southern and East African countries easing travel restrictions – and increasingly opening regional and international borders – safari operators selling to the North American market continue to see postponement of trips rather than cancellations.
This was highlighted in an ongoing survey conducted among safari operators by the US-based safari-planning and review site, Your African Safari (YAS).
“The second and third quarters of 2020 were quiet for safari tourism. As travel restrictions continued to unfold, those with upcoming safaris had little choice but to change their plans. Fortunately, most people opted to postpone rather than cancel their safari, which indicated that two-thirds of tour operators had their current client bookings postpone their safari,” said YAS Founder, Jennifer Goetz.
The YAS survey further revealed that tour operators appear optimistic for tourism, with 41% of those surveyed having rebooked clients for Q4 2020.
Goetz told Tourism Update that most operators were banking on 2021, with 47% having rebooked 2020 safaris for “some time” in 2021.
“Interestingly, as of now, no one is booking for 2022. This may be partly due to uncertainty in lodging pricing as well as tour operators’ eagerness to resume business,” she added.
The majority of the more than 380 tour operators surveyed have their headquarters in East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda) while the others in the top five were South Africa and non-Africa.