News

SAT, Expedia partnership yields results

Expedia has described its marketing partnership with South African Tourism a “highly profitable" success story for both parties.

As a media partner of SAT for six years, Expedia uses the tourism body’s branding in what it calls a "symbiotic relationship".

“We need each other – they are in the marketing business, we are in the selling business. It gives us both credibility,” Expedia Africa director Ross Kata said.

Kata told Travel Today that Expedia and SAT meet monthly to share ideas and opinions about marketing campaigns.

“It’s a really robust relationship. It’s not just ‘see you next Indaba’,” Kata said. “We have the platform and they control the message and we then show them the cost of that customer."

He branded SAT one of the online travel agent's "most forward thinking" tourism partners.

South Africa Tourism uses mediums such as Expedia, TripAdvisor and the National Geographic Channel to build the destination profile through word of mouth endorsement,SAT chief executive Thulani Nzima explained.

“We are determined to be on the most effective platforms where people are talking about tourism and about holidays,” he said.

It is estimated that online marketing and advertising partnerships delivered one billion online impressions for the tourism body last year.

Meanwhile, Kata confirmed that Australians account for Expedia’s fifth largest point of sale market into South Africa and booking longer than average stays, generally between 10 and 15 days.

“When they come in it’s a once in a lifetime journey and they want to do amazing things,” he said.

“You can’t just transact, you have to inspire. It’s the whole process from inspiration to transaction.”


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