Tourism minister concludes Australia visit

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Pretoria – Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk ends his three-day visit to Australia, today, to promote South Africa as a tourism destination.

South Africa views Australia as an important source market. By October 2011 over 84 000 Australians had visited South Africa, spending an average of R11 800 per trip and staying for approximately 15 nights.

“Australia ranks 6th in terms of South African Tourism’s top 20 long haul source markets. Between 2005 and 2010, South Africa has steadily grown annual tourist arrivals from Australia by 39%, reaching more than 107 000 in 2010. We are aiming to achieve and exceed the target of 120 000 Australian tourist arrivals in the next two years,” said Van Schalkwyk.

He said South Africa needed to work on improving seasonality by exposing itself and promoting itself as an “all-year, easy-to-do and value-for-money experience”.

Relations between South Africa and Australia’s travel trade are mutually beneficial, helped by several initiatives like joint marketing campaigns and trade familiarisation trips. South African Tourism opened its office in Sydney in 2003.

Van Schalkwyk added that the country has proven that it is able to host major international business events.

During his visit, the minister attended the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME). AIME is a meetings and incentives event in the Asia-Pacific region.

“AIME was an ideal platform to promote South Africa as a highly accessible and value-for-money destination, and to highlight the recent developments and the accolades received since the hosting of giants like the FIFA World Cup and COP17 in the build-up towards Meetings Africa,” said the tourism department.

Meetings Africa is South African Tourism’s marketing platform that exposes local and international buyers to the range of services and products in Southern Africa’s MICE (meetings, incentives, conference and exhibitions) industry.

It will be hosted at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on 28 February 2012. – BuaNews


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