Not only did the coronavirus pandemic affect our pockets, but global lockdowns also had a major effect on our mental health…

Financial uncertainty, added childcare responsibilities, and fears for our physical health all contributed to increased anxiety and stress over the last five months. One of the ways in which we relax and relieve stress is through travel.

According to a poll, travel even helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in retirees.

The latest Amex Trendex survey for August, shows that nearly half (48%) of consumers surveyed believe not being able to travel is making them feel anxious and stressed.

  • 3 in 4 consumers (78%) say travelling is one of the top activities they miss the most right now
  • Despite spending more time at home together over the past few months, consumers are still eager to travel with members of their households (67%)
  • Only a few want to travel by themselves (10%) once restrictions are lifted
  • When it comes to booking travel, premium services including direct access to speak with a real person over the phone to help with travel related inquiries (77%), flexibility (25%) and cleanliness standards (19%) remain top of mind and will play an integral role in instilling confidence for consumers to travel in the future

The South African travel industry has been decimated

Now that the lockdown restrictions are starting to ease in South Africa, we can start travelling interprovincially again, and what’s left of the battered tourism industry can start reaping the benefits. What helps us also helps them.

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READ MORE: Annual LEAVE worries: How will Covid-19 lockdown impact my December holiday?

For some, sadly, it’s too late

On Monday, popular STA Travel (which specialised in youth travel) announced that it would be closing its doors. “To our valued customers, due to the recent announcement that STA Travel South Africa has ceased trading, unfortunately our travel experts are unable to assist you at this time.”

According to Businesstech.co.za, Flight Centre, one of South Africa’s largest booking companies, closed 40% of its network as a result of the impact of Covid-19 coronavirus on its business.

Hundreds of restaurants around the country have been forced to shut down due to a combination of lockdown restrictions on travel, and the extended alcohol ban. Thousands have joined in protests to help raise awareness of the detrimental effect of lockdown on the industry.

An emotional letter by owner of Wolfgat, chef Kobus van der Merwe, went viral. In it, he reminisces on the “once-in-a-lifetime” experience he and his team enjoyed when they hosted President Cyril Ramaphosa and his entourage at the restaurant shortly after winning a prestigious award. He begged the President to open up the industry and implement more government support.

Here’s 5 ways you can support the tourism industry in South Africa, and get a mental health boost at the same time!

  1. SUBSCRIBE to our travel newsletter to find out about the latest travel deals, and the best spots to visit for budget-friendly getaways.
  2. WIN! Enter our awesome travel competitions and you could win a getaway for you and your family. Share your experience with all your contacts to raise awareness about great local getaways.
  3. Let the kids go ‘gramping’ on a getaway with their grandparents while you and your partner enjoy a night or two away in a local hotel or BnB. The grandparents get to catch up on time with the kiddies and you and your partner get a well-deserved break.
  4. Enjoy a staycation and explore all the sights, sounds, and tastes of your own city. Support local restaurants, and participate in some ‘tourism’ activities like visiting the museums, game parks, and adventure parks in your home province.
  5. Can’t fly overseas? No problem! Take a road trip. According to a Facebook poll conducted by All4Women, 79% of readers are looking forward to a road trip now that Level 2 regulations are in place. Plan to take the ‘long way round’, enjoy the unique South African scenery, stay in AirBnBs, and explore the diverse and fascinating history of our beautiful country. READ MORE: Road tripping: 6 must-see spots between CT and West Coast National Park

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.