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Young South Africans are among the world’s most romantic travellers

New research shows young South Africans may be the most romantic travellers in the world. A recent survey by Flight Centre Travel Group found that 63% of South African Zillennials (Gen Z and Millennials) actively seek romantic connections when traveling abroad – more than respondents from Australia (40%), the UK (23%), and Canada (41%).

Overall, 45% of Zillennials across all five countries say a holiday is the perfect place to find love, with more men (53%) claiming they’ve experienced romance abroad compared to women (42%).

“This passion for finding love across borders may stem from South Africans’ sense of adventure and openness to new experiences. The diversity of cultures and landscapes across the globe offer the perfect backdrop for making meaningful connections,” says Euan McNeil, MD Flight Centre Travel Group South Africa.

Flight Centre travel agents have experienced travel romance first-hand: “I was working at the Canal Walk branch early 2020 when Chase walked in to book a flight with me. So he started out as a client. From there we chatted throughout lockdown and finally met up when restrictions lifted. We were inseparable and a beautiful love story followed. Chase eventually joined Flight Centre as a novice in 2022. Yes, I am his boss at work but definitely not at home!” says Karen Ackhurst, Garden Route Team Leader.

Chantal Boonzaaier from FCI Operational Finance also shared: “I met my now-husband while on holiday in South Africa during my 8 years working on cruise ships. We dated long distance for 2 years before getting married. Now we’ve been married for 8 years and have a beautiful 4 year old boy.”

On the flip side, solo travel is also becoming increasingly popular as people embrace the opportunity to connect with themselves while experiencing new destinations.

The majority of Zillenials from the five countries said they were very or somewhat likely to travel solo (or wanderlone) at 60 percent. Men were more likely than women to say they’d be very or somewhat likely to do so (64 per cent compared to 56 per cent).

Among Zillennials in the countries surveyed who’d be very or somewhat likely to wanderlone, the most popular type of solo travel was a soul-searching journey focused on self-discovery (54 per cent), a reflective journey that allows contemplation and builds self-awareness (54 per cent) and a cultural journey that fosters a deeper connection (49 per cent).

FCTG Global CEO James Kavanagh said” “Our research shows that people are seeking and finding love abroad – with each other, and with themselves.

“With Valentine’s Day around the corner, the pressure is on for couples to find the perfect gift for one another, and travel is the perfect option.

“No matter your preferred style of travel, our experts can help you find the right trip, at the right price and take the stress out of the booking process.”



*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4,050 adults (822 from Australia, 801 from New Zealand, 801 from the UK, 823 from South Africa and 803 from Canada). Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th – 20th December 2023. The survey was carried out online and commissioned by FCTG. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Gen Z and Millennials (aged 18-42) in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, South Africa and Canada.

About Flight Centre Travel Group South Africa

Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) SA is part of Flight Centre Travel Group, an Australia-based international travel company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, with a market cap of AU$4.69 billion and a current share price of AU$21.37 as of 14 February 2024. FCTG with three leading brands: Flight Centre, Corporate Traveller and FCM, of which Corporate Traveller and FCM are proud level 1 BBBEE Contributors. FCTG SA is wholly owned and has been recognised as one of Deloitte’s Best Companies to Work for in South Africa for over a decade.

Please feel free to reach out to Kim Taylor at kim@bigambitions.co.za for any media queries or should you require any additional assets.

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