According to recent data released by Statistics South Africa, December saw a higher volume of South Africans travelling out of the country compared with the year before. However, while outbound travel may be on the rise, departure volumes are still significantly lower than pre-pandemic times.
In December 2021, a total of 242 289 South African residents left the country for travel. This is a 33% increase in local departures from the year before (182 144 in December 2020).
However, the December 2021 departure volumes are still down 71% from the December 2019 figure of 838 048, before the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Departure volumes at the end of 2020 were down a drastic 78% from 2019. Therefore, 2021’s statistics for South Africans travelling out of the country show an improvement of seven percentage points as compared to 2020.
Given that outbound travel from 2020-2021 has recovered from 12% to 19% of 2019 volumes, with a 33% increase in the number of local travellers altogether, it would appear that travel is indeed on a steady road to recovery.