11 May 2011
South African Tourism has committed to fully developing the African market in driving tourism growth in the country, backed by a more than R60-million budget for its marketing efforts.
SA Tourism has stressed the growing importance of African markets at the Tourism Indaba that ends in Durban on Wednesday.
The Africa region has maintained strong growth of 10 percent in arrivals to South Africa over the last seven years.
“Our most recent research has given us a key indication of areas that require strategic shifts in mindsets in the approach to attracting African travellers, and we look forward to leading industry efforts in ensuring we take full advantage of the huge potential on our doorstep,” Phumi Dhlomo, SA Tourism’s regional director for Africa, said at Indaba on Tuesday.
Four key tourism markets
According to a report released by SA Tourism at Indaba, the four key tourism markets for South Africa are Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya and Nigeria.
Nigeria, with a large population and high economic growth, has shown consistent growth of 7.8 percent in arrivals to South Africa over the past three years.
Angola, on the other hand, has the smallest population out of the four countries, but demonstrates a huge tourism potential given its average GDP growth rate and the relatively high number of travellers that have visited South Africa previously (39 557 in 2010).
Angolans visiting South Africa also accounted for the highest spend (in excess of R729-million) of the four countries in 2009.
Kenya warranted attention, the report found, due to its high technology usage trends and great potential to act as a hub for the East Africa region.
Visitors from the DRC, meanwhile, showed the greatest growth in total spend in South Africa, with an impressive 42 percent increase between 2003 and 2009.
“A phased approach is required, using the market insights gained in the report together with a strategic look at the unique consumer demands, media channels and tactical opportunities which exist to fully develop our offering to the African traveller,” Dhlomo said.
The report includes research aimed at identifying high-growth consumer groups within each market.
“This direction will allow marketing activities within each region to have maximum effect on consumers, with minimal resource wastage and higher conversion,” Dhlomo added.
“With the projected increase in focus on our Africa air markets, we will continue increasing our efforts in Africa’s land markets, maximising our efforts to ensure that the South African offering remains entrenched in countries such as Botswana and Mozambique.”