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4 May 2012

Explore your own country and be the envy of the world

Media Statement by the Office of Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism

Muizenberg beachfront, Cape Town Explore South Africa's beautiful beaches

Our message to South Africans who seek world-class destinations to relax in, have an adventure in and to explore is that they will find what they are looking for ‘right here in South Africa’. Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk

South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, today called on South Africans to be tourists in their own country and to experience what millions of international tourists are drawn to annually – the sheer beauty of their land, its rich culture and heritage, and the warmth and hospitality of their fellow citizens.

The Minister today in Cape Town launched the new Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy, which includes South African Tourism’s new domestic marketing campaign under the tagline “whatever you are looking for, it’s right here in South Africa”.

Minister Van Schalkwyk said domestic tourism contributed 76% of South Africa’s total tourism volume in 2011, and contributed R20 billion to the country’s economy, which made a substantial contribution to creating and sustaining much-needed jobs.

“Here in South Africa, we have breathtakingly beautiful scenery, a treasure trove of cultures to explore, and fascinating people to meet. We have wonderful cities, which offer some of the best urban leisure experiences in the world. We have variety and diversity. We have outstanding and capable tourism infrastructure. The rest of the world comes to enjoy the offerings that are available to us on our doorstep. Our message to South Africans who seek world-class destinations to relax in, have an adventure in and to explore is that they will find what they are looking for ‘right here in South Africa’,” the Minister said.

“We are determined to promote and enhance domestic tourism and implement strategies to grow this sector, which is the very lifeblood of our tourism industry and one of our key focus areas,” he added.

The new Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy is in further response to the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) announced last year, which has set clear targets in terms of domestic and foreign arrivals and projected contributions to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). In terms of the NTSS, the Department aims to reach 54 million domestic trips by 2020 as well as to ensure that domestic tourism contributes 60% of tourism’s overall contribution to GDP.

The Minister said the Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy was developed following an extensive consultative process, which took place over a period of eight months.

“The strategy aims to increase domestic tourism revenue, expand domestic tourism volume, enhance efforts to address seasonality and equitable geographic spread of domestic travel, and entrench a culture of tourism among South Africans. It centres on innovation, stakeholder participation, and the offering of authentic, affordable experiences and packages that meet the needs of all potential local travellers,” Minister Van Schalkwyk said.

Announcing the new South African Tourism (SAT) domestic marketing campaign, the Minister says research conducted by SAT found that an emotional connection to travel plays a central role when consumers make their travel choices.

“The central message, and key driver, of the new domestic tourism campaign is to invest in yourself and your relationship with family, friends and loved ones, and take advantage of all the destinations South Africa offers. In South Africa, you are able to experience one of the most beautiful, capable, friendly and desirable destinations in the world – it’s right here.”

The new campaign has widened its scope beyond the young and upcoming segment of South Africa, which was the chief focus of SAT’s successful Sho’t Left campaign. It now addresses a wider range of target consumers either to stimulate the desire for travel among groups who do not have a holidaying culture, or to encourage those who travel abroad to take their leisure trips in South Africa.

The five key consumer segments that the campaign targets are as follows:

· Spontaneous budget explorers (Young people of all races who impulsively go away for short breaks with friends, and who prefer activity-filled breaks over quiet weekends away)

· New-horizon families (Professionals older than 35, with or without families, who go on holiday to reward themselves for hard work, and who take advantage of special holiday and flight deals)

· High-life enthusiasts (Successful go-getters who travel to boost their social status and seek out exceptional service and luxury experiences)

· Seasoned leisure travellers (People aged about 25 to 45 who have a travel culture, and who go on holiday regularly. They understand the value of memory over commodity, and travel to relax and spend time with loved ones.)

· Well-to-do Mzansi families (People who travel to escape the city, stress and the pressures of daily life. They seek new and different locations to relax in, and they take advantage of special deals and offers.)

The new campaign, informed by the Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy, would extend beyond traditional advertising, and would include events, deals and fun trips. This is a campaign that Minister Van Schalkwyk hopes will get South Africans talking and excited about leisure tourism, and will encourage more people to be ‘tourists in their own country’ – a country that is one of the most desirable destinations in the world.

“Domestic tourism is important not only to stimulate leisure travel at home, but also to attract more foreign tourist arrivals to our country. When we have a nation of enthusiastic and passionate domestic leisure tourists, we gain a priceless bank of recommendations and ambassadors with which to attract more foreign tourists to South Africa.”

“Although there is good reason for optimism for the South African tourism industry, the economic climate remains tough and demands a new way of thinking and a new approach to domestic tourism. We need a collective, robust approach by all in the industry to grow domestic tourism and to sustain that growth. We need to build strong partnerships for continued growth, for job creation, and for domestic tourism to grow its contribution to the economy,” Minister Van Schalkwyk said.

The new domestic tourism campaign roll-out will include a series of television, radio and outdoor advertisements addressing the five key market segments with a focus on the country’s nine provinces, including special offers, stories about exciting things to do, and recommendations from South Africans about where to go, how to get there and what to look out for on the way. The new strategy will also see closer working relations with trade, including the continuation of partnerships with airlines, agents and hotel groups.

The Minister said a total of 26,4 million domestic trips were taken in 2011 against 29,7 million in 2010. However, the number of adult South Africans who travel domestically grew to 13,9 million – 3% more than the 13,5 million who took domestic trips in 2010. In 2011, the average spend per domestic trip grew to R780 per trip (from an average of R710 per trip in 2010). The Minister says, while trip numbers have declined, it is encouraging to note that more South Africans are travelling for leisure purposes.

“The new Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy and the campaign have taken into account that consumers are increasingly cautious about how they spend their money. They seek and demand exceptional value, and that is what the sector intends to offer,” the Minister concluded.

Ends

For further information, contact:

Ministry of Tourism

Melene Rossouw

Tel: 021 465 7240/082 753 7107

E-mail: mrossouw@tourism.gov.za

National Department of Tourism

Trevor Bloem

E-mail: TBloem@tourism.gov.za

Tel: 012 444 6000

South African Tourism

Jermaine Craig

E-mail: Jermaine@southafrica.net

Tel: 083 201 0121