Following a successful visit to the Central European markets, the stakeholder engagement roadshow involving South African Tourism and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), moves to the UK this week.
For the next few days, the South African delegation will be involved in a series of meetings and engagements with key travel partners and media in a bid to further understand the issues and challenges facing them when selling South Africa as a tourist destination.
“Such is the importance of the UK market, we have committed to spending more time in this region,” commented SA Tourism Acting CEO, SthembisoDlamini.
“The UK is our largest international source market and with the potential to double the current arrival numbers from this region, we need to get a clear understanding of the shifts in the market, but at the same time offer our support to our travel partners to ensure that they are able to sell South Africa as a tourism destination with ease,” says Dlamini.
Recently, President Cyril Ramaphosa challenged the South African tourism industry to grow international visitors to 21 million by 2030.
This is in addition to the 5-in-5 strategic goal that sets the target of an additional four million international visitors and one million domestic holiday trips by 2021.
“Last week’s engagements and the series of meetings we have ahead of us has been a worthwhile exercise for us to understand the critical issues facing our travel partners,” said TBCSA CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa. “As the private sector, we are committed to working closely with the government to jointly address the issues at hand and play our part in easing the challenges for our travel partners.”
After strong UK arrival numbers in 2016 and 2017, 2018 saw a loss in momentum due to the drought in the Western Cape.
Although the water crisis started in 2017 and intensified in 2018, the effect on long-term bookings and destination appeal were disappointing. This has since recovered in 2019 and forward bookings indicate positive growth for the remainder of the year.
Apart from the Central European and UK markets, the delegation will also engage with travel partners from the US, India, China, Nigeria and Australia over the next few months.
These markets have been identified as the driving markets for the South African tourism industry to achieve the 21 million arrivals goal by 2030.