Shorter Lead Times, Longer Stays Drives September Reservation Trends in South Africa

In September 2023, we analysed a sample size of 18 770 room nights booked into South Africa across 7360 individual reservations and the key differences when compared to the reservations made in August is that the lead times in South Africa decreased from 46.6 days in advance to 36.95 days in advance. The shorter lead time was coupled with a longer length of stay, increasing from 2.17 days in August to 3.39 days in September, the longer length of stay is a great profit contributor to the extra profitability of the South African hotel market.  

When analysing the top 5 source markets, domestic South African bookings are still delivering the highest contribution in terms of room nights sold despite a year-on-year decrease of 10.83%, mainly driven by the international markets opening for travel.

The UK remains in second place with 5.17% of room nights booked into South Africa, slightly lower than August of 5.71%. The USA market has overtaken the German market in third place with 4.49% of the room nights sold, a solid increase when compared to August.

The Netherlands takes fifth spot with 2.13% of the room nights coming from this well know market, the Netherlands has also shown the second highest increase in room nights sold when compared to August, indicating that the Dutch travellers are still loving South Africa.

Despite South Africa as a whole showing shorter lead times, the top source markets have actually shown a large increase in lead time as we are approaching the season, with an average lead time of 50.93 days it is clear that the inbound focus is now on the Festive Season travellers.

With shorter lead times, longer lengths of stays and the Festive season on the way the South Africa tourism market is lining up to boom, are you read to maximise on the demand for our amazing country.  

If you’re looking to maximize your presence in both domestic and international markets online, TrevPAR World Group is here to assist you. With offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Sydney Australia, Amsterdam Netherlands, and Ireland, we are ready to serve you.

Feel free to contact us at

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