Tourism marketing reaching consumers

South Africa Tourism

South Africa Tourism

Durban – Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has announced that through South Africa’s marketing efforts in tourism they have reached over one billion consumers.

“Our brand message on channels such as National Geographic and CNN International enabled us to reach over one billion consumers in 2012. Our video, banner and text adverts were displayed to targeted audiences over 1.1 billion times. This complemented our online partnerships with the likes of Expedia, Facebook, TripAdvisor and,” said Minister Van Schalkwyk.

Speaking at the glittering opening ceremony of the 2013 Tourism Indaba held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Saturday night, the minister said last year, South Africa generated over R4.6 billion in editorial coverage for the country’s destination through global and in-country media relations work.

All these marketing efforts have paid off handsomely as the overall international tourist arrivals grew by 10.2% equating to 9.2 million tourists in 2012, compared against an average global industry growth of 4%. “We certainly performed remarkably. We are growing into a most sought-after tourist destination, with a vast array of unique experiences on offer,” he said.

The minister revealed that the launch of the South African National Convention Bureau has delivered exceptional results and has greatly boosted the country’s global competitiveness in pursuing the country’s target of R 6.2 billion in direct spend via business events over the next five years.

To achieve this ambitious direct spend target, he announced that in the coming year, South African Tourism (SAT) will open fully-fledged offices in Brazil, Angola, Kenya and Nigeria, whilst also expanding its marketing presence and partnerships with the trade in South Korea, Russia, Scandinavia, Shanghai in China, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania.

“In positioning our country as a globally competitive and responsible tourism destination, we will, amongst other things, be raising the profile of our heritage and cultural tourism assets. This year, our Heritage and Cultural Pavilion here at the Tourism Indaba aims to profile and promote the eight world heritage sites we are proud to have in South Africa.”

He also emphasised the importance of increasing domestic tourism, saying that at any given time, three quarters of all tourists in South Africa are South Africans, with domestic tourists having contributed R101 billion to the country’s economy in 2011.

To further increase domestic tourism, the minister announced new initiatives for 2013 and beyond. These are:

  • Investing in new partnerships and relationships, including between provincial tourism marketers and SAT;
  • Investing in a new marketing campaign for domestic tourists. This is to be launched during Tourism Month in September, targeted at a broad cross-section of the South African population.

Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize in his opening remarks said the province has “perfected the art of hosting major events”. Dr Mkhize said the province was ready to host the Tourism Indaba on a permanent basis.

Speaking at the same event South African Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima said he was “buoyant and upbeat”. Nzima said the 2013 Tourism Indaba was trending on Twitter having reached 55 million people through its handle #meet South Africa. Nzima said this year’s Indaba has also upped the stake in being green – through the use of token gadgets – some 35 000 documents were shared without using paper possibly saving 61 trees. –