It used to be that Mauritius was the most popular tourist destination for South Africans, and Mauritius was far ahead of any competitor region. However that all seems to be changing. Over the past few years, more and more South Africans are choosing to travel to Thailand instead. But just what is the appeal of this small South East Asian country.
There are a few reasons why South Africans consider going to Thailand. The flight time is a little longer than most would fly when flying to Mauritius and the flight is almost always more expensive. However once you are there, prices are substantially cheaper. This is due to two reasons. One, the country as a whole is still quite undeveloped and so prices are quite low in comparison to other more tourist-developed countries. Second, the prices are in Thai Baht (the local currency) which has a favourable exchange rate with the South African Rand. In Mauritius, most places will charge tourists in US Dollars, making it quite expensive once you are there. The cheapness of Thailand was one of the major first aspects of it that drew tourists there. Initially these were mainly backpackers and young people taking a gap year. However, things have changed and, although still popular with the backpacker-type, it is becoming a popular destination for young couples as well as families. Apart from the affordability of Thailand, another big drawing card is the raw beauty of the country. Yes there are quite developed areas like Bangkok, but the islands are still mostly undeveloped and have that natural beauty.
The typical trip to Thailand will include landing in Bangkok and spending a few days there. Then people usually go off to one of the islands like Phi Phi, Phuket, Lanta etc. People may even choose to hop from around a few islands. After that, they will head back to Bangkok, do some shopping, and then head home.
Marc writes about Thailand holiday packages on his site, as well as holiday packages to many other destinations around Africa and the world.