Flight Centre’s predictions for popular destinations in 2024

Published Dec 19, 2023


South Africans have some clear favourite global destinations for 2023, with tropical treasures, European capitals, and shopping meccas leading the pack.

According to Flight Centre South Africa’s travel insights whitepaper, The Year in Travel 2023, the top ten international destinations booked by South African travellers this year are Mauritius, Dubai, Thailand, Zanzibar, USA, Bali, UK, France, Italy and Maldives – and we have reason to believe many of these getaway go-tos will remain high on South Africans’ travel bucket lists throughout 2024 – with a few new additions, of course (more on those later…)


The number one overseas destination amongst Saffers in 2023 was Mauritius. The island also featured in the top three destinations for solo female travellers.


Dubai attracts visitors with its luxury resorts, iconic attractions, and mega shopping. Flight Centre data from 2023 showed the biggest overseas hotel booking this year was a stay at Dubai’s Atlantis The Royal.


Renowned for beaches, temples, and cuisine, Thailand continues to rank amongst the top destinations for a rand-stretching and incredible overseas holiday.


Zanzibar’s Spice Islands remain a popular destination for South African sun-seekers.


Despite lengthy flights, America’s diversity continues to entice South African travellers.


Peaceful Bali beckons with lush landscapes, yoga retreats, and legendary surf breaks.


It may be pricey, but iconic sights in London and the pastoral English countryside continue to draw in South African travellers. Cities like London also appeal to solo female jet-setters (the destination featured as number one for solo female travellers).


France is home to Parisian cafés, lavender fields, vineyards, and the Côte d’Azur – and South Africans are loving it!


Italy lures visitors to unwind on coastlines or meander charming hillside towns. Unsurprisingly, Rome was the number one cruise destination for South Africans in 2023 and also the second most popular destination for solo female travellers.


Epitomising luxury, the Maldives caters to upscale travellers with overwater bungalows showcasing abundant sea life.

Several factors seem to be shaping South African travel decisions, including personalised experiences, interest in wellness retreats, and eco-conscious bookings. The research also shows that South African travellers are taking advantage of flexible policies, premium cabins, and long-awaited holidays that may have been on hold.

So, what does 2024 have in store? According to the Flight Centre South Africa team, these are the hottest destinations for South Africans in 2024 – and yes, Mauritius, Dubai, and Thailand are still top of the list:

  1. Mauritius
  2. Dubai, UAE
  3. Phuket, Thailand
  4. Bali, Indonesia
  5. Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
  6. Zanzibar, Tanzania
  7. Maldives
  8. Paris, France
  9. Venice, Italy
  10. Singapore

For more insights and data on 2023 travel patterns and destination rankings, be sure to explore Flight Centre’s whitepaper. And when you’re ready to plan your next amazing journey, the knowledgeable Flight Centre Travel Experts await to help craft your dream holiday!