Research finds South Africans to be among the world’s most romantic travellers

Posted on 28 February 2024 By Savanna Douglas

Did you know that 63% of South Africa’s younger travellers (namely Gen Z and Millennials) are more likely to fall in love while roaming abroad?

A survey conducted by Flight Centre Travel Group found that 63% of South African ‘Zillennials’ (Gen Z and Millennials) look for romance when travelling abroad. Not only that, but South African Zillennials’ lust for love overtakes respondents from Australia (40%), the UK (23%), and Canada (41%), as per reports by Big Ambitions.

The survey further suggests 53% of male Zillennials across all five countries have experienced romance abroad, as compared to 42% of women finding love on vacay.

Euan McNeil, MD Flight Centre Travel Group South Africa, says:

“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.”

It’s not only air travellers who are finding love abroad, either. Travel agents have run into romance, too.

Karen Ackhurst, Garden Route Team Leader, says:

“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!”

Love isn’t limited to air travel, though. 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.”

Conversely, solo travel has gained traction over the years, with adventurers embracing the opportunity to foster a different kind of love while globetrotting – self-love.

As per the survey, 60% of Zillennials from the five countries reported that they were likely to embark on solo travel missions, with 64% of men and 56% of women reporting that they would be ‘very or somewhat likely’ to embark on a solo adventure.

The survey found that 54% of Zillennials opt to embark on solo travel to do ‘soul-searching’. Similarly, 54% of travellers reported the want for reflective solo journeys that spark contemplation and self-awareness. 49% of travellers also reported going on solo missions to embark on cultural journeys that spark connection.

All in all, travel is almost always wrapped up with love – whether it’s finding romance abroad, indulging in self-love, or falling in love with a new destination.


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