South Africa aims beyond big five

South Africa aims beyond big five
By admin


South African Tourism (SAT) has insisted it will not shift marketing funds from declining European markets in favour of their emerging Asian counterparts, instead committing additional money to the destination’s promotion worldwide.

Chief executive Thulani Nzima told Travel Today that European numbers to the destination had dipped 3% in 2011 while emerging markets China and India had displayed growth of 24% and 26% respectively.

But Nzima was adamant the organisation would not relax its focus on the west, stressing that Europe had still accounted for around 1.3 million visitors over the year.

“That’s quite a sizeable number,” he said. “We will not shift funds, we will instead have additional funds.”

Meanwhile, Australian visitors to the destination rose 14% in the first quarter of 2012 to more than 110,000, above the overall growth rate of 10%.

Nzima was cautiously optimistic about a strong future for the market, it’s sixth most significant, buoyed by the strong Australian dollar.

“With the strength of the Australian dollar, South Africa offers even more value for money,” he said.

But he admitted that competition was growing from neighbouring countries who also offered safari holidays. As a result, SAT is seeking to grow awareness of its attractions beyond the big five.

“We are not just a safari destination,” he said. “Yes, we have safari, but we have a lot of other things too.”

Heritage, culture, arts, music and fashion are some of the areas the tourism body is seeking to promote. With this aim, it has signed a new partnership with retail giant Myer to promote its spring/summer 2013 collection while giving consumers a glimpse of South Africa as a “global lifestyle destination”.

Nzima expects to start seeing the results of the partnership in around three months, with similar deals to follow if successful.

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