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Travel News Digest, 7 June: SA named friendliest country in the world, Tiffindell closes permanently, and more

Author: Micky Baker - 7 June 2024

This week in travel news, SAA aims to expand its European presence through a new partnership, Qantas announces that it will re-establish its Johannesburg-Perth route, and South Africa is named the friendliest country in the world. Read on to catch up on everything travel related.

Travel News

St James Beach in Muizenberg.

South Africa named sixth best honeymoon destination in the world.

Once more, South Africa finds itself among the top 10 world-class honeymoon destinations, as recognised by Big 7 Travel. Highlighted are its array of “adult-only” and five-star accommodations, the affordability of local wine and three-course dining experiences, the abundance of tailored honeymoon packages, and the diverse range of sightseeing and activities.

Southern African countries plan to expand “univisa”.

Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, integral members of the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area, are contemplating expanding the utilization of the unified visa. Presently operational in Zambia and Zimbabwe, this unique common visa allows tourists to embark on day excursions to Botswana via Kazangula. Botswana has committed to embracing the visa system entirely.

Namibia removes 31 countries from visa-exempt list.

Namibia excluded countries such as Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the USA due to their lack of reciprocal visa exemptions. The SADC Business Council Tourism Alliance has voiced apprehension, asserting that “a stringent visa policy could adversely affect the entire tourism ecosystem.”

South Africa named friendliest nation in the world.

Remitly, a relocation authority, has published a study evaluating the most hospitable nations globally, crowning South Africa as the unequivocal champion. Notably excelling in the “agreeableness” category, the country earned praise for its warm and inviting locals, fostering an atmosphere where travelers and visitors effortlessly feel at home.

Tiffindell, South Africa’s only ski resort, closes permanently.

The resort has announced via its website that it shuttered its doors at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic and is presently listed for sale. Chris Stevens, the realtor representing the resort, highlights that the ski season has been curtailed to a mere three months, rendering operational viability nearly unattainable. Nonetheless, there remains potential for a prospective buyer to rejuvenate the resort under a fresh brand.

Aviation News

A Qantas aeroplane taking off.

SAA signs deal to grow representation in Europe.

South African Airways has forged a partnership with Discover the World to enhance its footprint in Europe, with the objective of enhancing connectivity and leveraging European markets, which play a pivotal role in both tourism and business travel.

Qantas set to re-establish Johannesburg-Perth route by next year.

The Australian airline has entered into a fresh agreement with Perth Airport to upgrade two terminals utilised by the carrier. Consequently, Qantas will have the capability to reintroduce its Johannesburg-Perth route, presently operated by South African Airways.

READ: Qatar Airways Adds New Africa Gateway to DRC

Conservation News

A game drive in Kruger National Park.

Short film Beyond the Bite documents shark attack victim’s quest for shark conservation.

Launched by WILDTRUST, the film stars Caleb Swanepoel, an actor and para-athlete who suffered the loss of his leg to a great white shark in 2015. The organisation marvels at Swanepoel’s desire to “give back to the very species that took something from him,” aiming to transform perceptions surrounding marine predators. This film forms part of the Sharks Under Attack conservation campaign.

UN says financing is integral to South Africa’s mission to expand protected areas.

According to the UN Development Programme, amid the escalating crisis of biodiversity loss globally, South Africa is grappling with the challenge of preserving its current conservation areas. There’s a growing emphasis on fostering private sector investment through offsetting initiatives, alongside a call for an integrated approach to tackle the interconnected challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change, and land degradation.

WATCH: Experts warn new changes will allow SANParks to bypass environmental impact assessments.

Earlier this year, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment proposed canceling statutory environmental impact assessments for specific developments in Kruger National Park. This move has prompted concerns from environmental law experts.

Discover Africa’s Travel Experts are on the pulse of travel news and tourism trends across Africa. Get in touch to start planning your Safari bucket list adventure today. 

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