South Africa eyes affordable tourism to grow market

South Africa eyes affordable tourism to grow market
Edited by Travel Weekly


    Australian tourists feeling the pinch from the cost-of-living crisis, might find an unlikely ally in South African Tourism in the future according to a panel at Africa’s Travel Indaba (ATI).

    With six out of ten young Africans failing to explore their own continent, despite constituting the largest demographic within the 1.3 billion-strong African population, the youth remain significantly underrepresented in intracontinental travel.

    With reasons varying from accessibility to affordability, CMO of SA Tourism Thembisile Sehloho asked the question: Is marketing positioning travel as intimidating, luxurious and too expensive – and what can we do to change this?

    The panel agreed that we are dealing with a new generation of youth, and social media and paid media is the key to connecting with this market. Gen Z in particular is looking for content that means something, and as a sector travel needs to be more intentional about the content it puts out. While trends can inform content, it’s essential to be part of the trend and speak to the particular audience’s real travel needs.

    The panel said that while it’s important to ensure Africa’s offerings are on par with international tourism products, it must never forget its uniqueness.

    At the same time, ATI also hosted South Africa’s Tourism Investment Seminar since Covid 19. The seminar explored how government investment could in turn encourage private sector investment.

    Addressing the seminar, the Deputy Minister for Tourism Fish Mahlalela used the example of how his government’s investment of R120 ($10) million into upgrading facilities around Kruger National Park lead to a private sector investment of $80 million in the area including low cost accommodation.

    So potentially a more affordable South African holiday is just around the corner.

    By David Hovenden at ATI 2024. 

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