Monday, July 26, 2010

South African Tourism taps the USA market

There has been recent criticism of South African Tourism because of its website appearing to set itself up as an accommodation portal in competition with some of its members; promising accommodation establishments who list with them to grow their business. South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for the marketing of South Africa as a tourist destination, and some have felt that this should be their focus. We advertise on so many portals and websites that another with a huge advertising budget will certainly not be shunned, but we do agree that South African tourism should stick to its core business which is to promote tourism to our country.

It is good news, therefore, to read news broadcasts from the USA stating that South African Tourism (SAT) has announced the recipients of its 2010 Joint Marketing Agreements, and that 8 trade partners had been chosen based on their campaign submissions for the “Journey of Discovery”, a tourism marketing initiative designed to identify trade partners for SAT’s Joint Marketing Agreements for the fiscal year 2010-11, with the aim of promoting tourism to South Africa. The winning partners are USA Tour and travel firms 2Afrika, Africa Answers, Classic Escapes, Collette Vacations, Destination Golf & Leisure, Immersion Journeys, STA Travel and Travel Impressions. These all appear to be reputable and well-established tour organisers and are undoubtedly competent to promote our country to the USA. I could not help but note that the website of one – Africa Answers- announces that their services were “ coming soon”. Nevertheless, I believe that the USA is still a largely untapped market for South African tourism in spite of the fact that more visitors came from the States than any other country during the recent World Cup soccer tournament.

This is the second year that we have run this competition, and once again we were truly impressed with the extraordinary level of creativity and quality of execution in the submissions,” said Sthu Zungu, president of SA Tourism, North America. “We appreciate the time and energy that our partners devoted to creating these campaigns, and we congratulate all of the operators who participated. We value their commitment to selling South Africa, and their support for our efforts in this important marketplace.”
SAT had invited their prospective trade partners to submit an innovative proposal for a marketing campaign targeting; with the challenge of building on the positive impressions created during the 2010 World Cup, and to leverage this goodwill into attracting more American travellers to South Africa. Each tour operator received an invitation kit with a letter from the President, detailed profiles of each of South African Tourism’s two consumer segments, a leather travel journal embossed with the SAT logo and the contest rules.

The eight finalists will each receive a fully funded joint marketing agreement to the value of US $25,000, to implement their unique marketing campaigns during the period of August 2010 through March 2011.
For more information, visit
Perhaps because South Africa is such a long haul from the USA, or perhaps because the people of the USA are not well informed about our country, we do not yet seem to take priority in the vacation plans of the majority of people in this affluent market. We hope that this partnership arrangement with South African Tourism will bring about a step change, and that we can look forward to an influx of new visitors looking to enjoy a Cape Town holiday

By Dennis Cook : Horizon Holiday Cottages 

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