The Department of Trade and Industry, in conjunction with Backpacking South Africa, launches the Backpacking and Youth Travel Trends publication. The dti compiled this backpacking and youth travel publication after recognising the value and potential of this niche market, and the general lack of information on backpacking in the marketplace, as published by wysetc(Amsterdam) at 13.12.2007. The information in the publication is aimed at creating awareness about backpacking and youth travel, particularly amongst existing tourism businesses, entrepreneurs, industry associations and government and development officials. The launch will be attended by representatives from the SA Tourism, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Tourism Grading Council of SA, Tourism Business Council of SA, Backpacking South Africa, and tourism consultants.
Backpacking and youth travel is big business and makes a significant contribution to the global tourism economy. According to the wysetc World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation, young travellers aged 16-24 are the travel industry’s fastest growing segment. They represent over 20% of all international visitors and generate over 100 Billion US Dollars each year. In Australia – one of South Africa’s main competitor destinations – for example, backpacker and youth travellers spend in the region of AUS $ 3 Billion each year. This roughly equates to some R18 Billion in economic contribution.
South Africa receives about 90 000 backpacker and youth travellers each year. These travellers contribute over R900 million annually in direct spend to the economy. Despite their average daily spend being less than that of many other tourists, their total trip spend is on a par, and sometimes more, because of their longer length of stay.
International backpackers to South Africa stay an average of 42 days, and typically visit Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces. Their interest in rural areas and authentic experiences directly benefits certain of the country’s poorer regions and communities. A case in point is the Wild Coast where the backpacking industry has already made a significant contribution to local economic development.
The dti’s backpacking and youth publication is the first in a series of informative tourism niche market reports to be published by the department. It is to be followed by a Birding travel trends publication in 2008.
Mehrere Mitglieder und Partner vom BundesForum Kinder- und Jugendreisen e.V. (Berlin) sind Mitglieder von wysetc. Das BundesForum selber unerhält gute Arbeitskontakte zu wysetc.