In The Press


See you on Baz Bus

they want, and traveling at their own pace. The latest price list quotes R2020 between Pretoria and Cape Town via Swaziland, and R1650 via the Drakensberg. According to Renee Venter, although most who use the bus service are international tourists, it is also popular with South African backpacking travelers. Among the reasons the bus service is popular with visitors is the convenience of being able to stop along the way and to stay as long as they want. There is also the safety aspect, in that the bus door people at the door of their chosen hostel. Increasingly, tourism authorities are realizing the value of backpackers to the economy, Venter said. They tend to stay longer than visitors on package holidays, thus spending more money on their stay. “Backpackers are not just long-haired school-leavers. Many are young professionals looking for a different way to travel”. Increasingly, hostels have to change their product to suit the new demands of these travelers. More of them want private rooms, double rooms and suites. They are willing to share the social areas of lounge and kitchen, but also want their privacy. Tourist from the UK are the biggest market by far, followed by Europeans, who include Germans, Dutch, Scandinavian and Spanish backpackers, as well as Australians and New Zealanders. Although aimed at the 18 to 35 market, the average age in between 25 and 28, Venter

DEON DELPORT Reports on a unique backpackers’ bus

In the past year, the hop-on hop-off door-to-door Baz Bus network has carried more that 15 000 tourists around South Africa. That success is being recognized by tourism authorities. Renee Venter, Marketing Manager of Baz Bus, says its stand at the tourist indaba received a visit from SA Tourism boss Cheryl Carolus this week. She praised the tourist bus service as on the best products in South Africa. Started seven years ago, the service initially ran between Johannesburg and Cape Town via Kimberley. Because of increasing demand for a service along the coastal route, it then opened a service from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys Bay. Now the service operates a coastal route in both directions, between Cape Town and Johannesburg and Pretoria via Swaziland, with stops in Durban, then north to St Lucia, and also between Johannesburg or Pretoria and Cape Town via the Drakensberg. The bus travels through the Transkei and popular stops are Cintsa and Coffee Bay. Along the way, backpackers have a choice of 180 hostels in 40 towns and cities, witch cost on average R60 a night in a dormitory bed. Tourists can buy one ticket to their final destination, getting on and off as many times at

said, although it could be seasonal, depending on the needs of school-leavers, university students and professionals. The backpackers’ industry was booking with new hostels opening all the time, Venter said. In general they did not make their money out of offering beds, but our of meals and the extra experiences they offered, such as bungee jumping, cultural tours and day trips. For more information, phone 021 439 2323 email LoadEmail('General Enquiry') website


Visa - MastercardVCS Secured Payments