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Bookings and enquiries about travel to Southern and East Africa remained strong in July, although postponements still dominated as the highest category of ‘enquiries’.

This is according to the latest African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA) Snapshot Survey. Throughout 2021, ATTA has been taking a ‘snapshot’ at the end of each month from the perspective of accommodation providers, DMCs, tour operators and agents and private guides.

The survey provides an indication of what is happening within the broader African travel and tourism industry and focuses on, among others: Who is actually travelling each month? How are they booking? Where are they enquiring to go to? What are the lead times of bookings?

The survey is only sent to those within the ATTA membership and its greater industry network, spanning thousands of companies around the globe.

Here is the final summary of the report.


  • 87% of accommodation respondents were open, the highest percentage in 2021, whilst the majority occupancy levels remained low at 20-40%.
  • Fewer respondents had arrivals from international and trade channels, with local direct bookings remaining essential for occupancy.
  • DMCs experienced the highest percentage of travellers due to travel in July, who actually travelled (24%). This is the highest percentage all year and a marked increase from April (8%). July was the month with the lowest percentage (13%) of DMC respondents who indicated they had had no travellers to date, a huge decrease compared with February (52%).
  • The domestic market retained its strength in arrivals while international direct and trade channel arrivals reduced from June. 
  • Nationalities of Arrivals: Domestic remains highest in number, Chile was mentioned for the first time and the US, Germany and France were the top international nationalities arriving.  


  • Postponements remained the highest category of ‘enquiries’ in July (46% of buyer respondents, 39% DMCs and 30% of suppliers), but expectation of these to travel are low. In contrast, confidence in the ability to travel is growing according to tour operator respondents (38% responding confident/confident but with all medical and insurance details). 


  • July showed an overall increase in people back at work, the highest of 2021. 

 Enquiries and bookings   

  • Enquiries remain strong across all parts of the chain. 
  • 94% of suppliers, 90% of DMCs, 69% of buyers (Note, the buyers were specifically asked about enquiries to Africa as many sell outside of the continent.)    
  • Tour operator conversion rates increased for the first time in 2021 with 27% of respondents converting 20-40% of enquiries.   
  • USA, Germany and the UK provided the most enquiries to buyers and DMCs in July. Whilst the US, Germany and domestic markets provided the most enquiries to accommodation suppliers. This translated into bookings, with the exception of the UK. 
  • DMC and tour operator pipelines hold a large percentage of postponements from 2020. 

 Lead times

  • Short-term bookings remain most prevalent (81% of suppliers receiving bookings with departures up to two months in advance and 47% of buyer respondents receiving bookings with departures up to four months). A notable comment is that this is for both domestic and international as clients react to the changing travel restrictions.
  • Other individual comments outline that the appetite for bookings six to 12 months in advance is coming.  


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