Most people chose not to book their December holidays out of fear that the lockdown would be extended, but now that local leisure travel is back on the cards, the question on everyone’s lips is: “Is it too late to book time away?” The answer, according to Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts, is an unequivocal “No!” He says, “The hospitality industry has only officially been open for just over a month and whilst bookings are coming in thick and fast, we are not at capacity yet.”
Lamont adds that First Group understands that guests’ pockets are tighter than ever, and for some, time away is a luxury they simply can’t afford. “This is why we have strategically designed and developed shorter-stay specials that allow South Africans to spend much-needed time away without breaking the bank.”
One of the specials currently on offer (at all of First Group’s 25 properties!) is a 4-night midweek getaway at 25% off, which is perfect for the upcoming school holidays and will give your family something to look forward to. “We are also offering a 3-night getaway at 15% off, guaranteed to give couples the chance to reconnect,” explains Lamont.
He shares 4 tips for those looking to still book their December break:
1. Don’t delay, book today: The longer you wait, the less likely you are to secure accommodation. As we get closer to December, destinations will get more and more full so to avoid disappointment, rather make a booking now. Think of it this way — it’s better to have your dates secured and change them at a later stage, rather than not book a getaway and end up with no choice but to stay at home.
2. Book directly on the website: If you know where you want to go, book directly on the hotel or resort’s website – it is bound to be more cost-effective plus, going direct also ensures that you reap the benefits of great specials which may not necessarily be available from online travel agencies.
3. Check terms and conditions: Given that we are still in the middle of a pandemic, the terms and conditions of booking travel during this time may look slightly different. Pay attention to the fine print and check details like the cancellation and indemnification policies so that you know what to expect should there be any regulation changes.
4. Check for COVID-19 compliance: Every destination must follow COVID-19 compliance rules as set out by the government. You should expect to see sanitisers at every entrance, no contact thermometers and remember to wear your mask in areas outside of your room. As leaders in the hospitality industry, First Group transformed every resort and hotel into a COVID-safe zone so that guests can enjoy an even cleaner, safer, germ-free holiday from check-in to check-out. Before booking your getaway, make sure that your desired destination is COVID-compliant, so you know that your stay is going to be safer and pleasant.
“Wash the COVID-blues away by booking a sneaky getaway now! It’s an opportunity for you to make magical lasting memories (for less!) all while supporting South Africa’s tourism industry,” Lamont concludes.