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Travel websites and retail in SA
Increased access to travel websites
Increased access to websites which allow travellers to make their own comparison of prices and services in various travel and tourism categories continued to pose a major threat to growth in travel retail during 2013. More South African travellers are increasingly bypassing travel retailers when purchasing travel and tourism products and services. Access to online comparison tools such as Skyscanner has allowed travellers to easily look for the cheapest available flights as opposed to the traditional way of instructing a travel retailer, who then did everything necessary on behalf of travellers in return for a commission for making the final booking.
Travel retail in South Africa is expected to decline in value in constant 2013 terms over the forecast period. The category is expected to lose business as more people are expected to purchase their travel and tourism products and services directly from suppliers. Increased access to online travel comparison tools is also expected to result in consumers becoming more educated in terms of the options which are open to them in relation to travel and tourism products and services.