12 March 2012

ITB Berlin infused with South African flavour

South Africa takes centre stage in Berlin as arrivals growth from Germany continues its upward trend.

SA Tourism at ITB Theresa Bay-Müller, South African Tourism Country Manager: Germany South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Thulani Nzima and Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk with the ETEYA finalists

Our 2011 figures from Germany are promising and show a continued demand for South Africa’s unparalleled tourism offering and demonstrates that South Africa remains relevant, dynamic and innovative in our response to the changing needs to the German traveller as we look to defend and grow our core European markets. - Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

BOOSTED by growth of nearly 10% from the German tourism market in 2011 and by strong confidence and partnerships with the South African and German tourism trade, South Africa has concluded yet another successful appearance at ITB in Berlin, the world’s biggest travel and tourism trade show.

With 46 South African tourism products across all sectors of the tourism value chain showcasing their wares and conducting hundreds of business meetings to stimulate trade to South Africa, ITB was again a busy and important time to promote tourism to South Africa in Germany and Europe.

Among the exhibitors at ITB this year were the nine provincial winners of the Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year (ETEYA) competition, brought to Berlin by South African Tourism to gain invaluable international business experience and to expose their products to the German trade.

With the German market responding well to South Africa’s lifestyle tourism offering, another highlight at ITB was a South African evening for German media and trade which featured tourism attractions and experiences from all nine provinces, including golf, wildlife, fashion, culture, heritage and outdoor adventures, South African food and wine and a show-stopping fashion show by South African designer Bongiwe Walaza.

Germany has exceeded post-recession expectations by posting month on month growth throughout 2011, with figures released for November 2011 - coinciding with the start of ITB Berlin – showing cumulative growth of 9.9% between January and November 2011.

South Africa’s Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk, addressing German trade and media at ITB, cited persistence and continued innovation as key to the impressive growth to date. “Germany is currently rated our third biggest tourism market, contributing more than 9% of total tourist spend. And there remains further opportunity to create demand among German travellers of all ages to consider South Africa for their next trip. Our 2011 figures from Germany are promising and show a continued demand for South Africa’s unparalleled tourism offering and demonstrates that South Africa remains relevant, dynamic and innovative in our response to the changing needs to the German traveller as we look to defend and grow our core European markets,” said Minister van Schalkwyk.

Joining Minister van Schalkwyk at ITB Berlin for the first time in his capacity as CEO of South African Tourism, Thulani Nzima praised the South African exhibitors who embraced the opportunity to be a part of the South African Pavilion at ITB, a show that sees more than 108,000 people from every part of the tourism industry flock to ITB each year.

“ITB is all about firming up our Joint Marketing Agreement (JMA) partnerships, meeting the trade and getting valuable first-hand insight into how we can make our destination even more accessible going forward. I would like to thank the exhibitors who joined us this year and I have no doubt the business connections they have made will serve them very well over the year ahead.”

Seasoned ITB Berlin exhibitor Monika Iuel, Your Africa, rated ITB Berlin 2012 as a good show overall, “As an inbound tour operator we do see the value in the German market and therewith lots of possibilities of expanding”. In addition, she was particularly enthused at the evolution of communication around destination South Africa, particularly the move to bring a more authentic experience to ITB visitors and trade.

Bongiwe Walaza, who was an integral influencer in the German tourism market through various campaigns over the last year, continues to be enthusiastic about the prospects of growing German arrivals to South Africa, especially in the lifestyle arena. “I am very proud to be part of South African Tourism’s campaign in Germany. I also met the winners of the campaign for a day in Johannesburg and showed them around my city. It is so important to encourage Germans to visit our country also because of the economic impact they have, especially in the smaller communities they visit to experience our authentic traditions and cultures.”

“ITB Berlin 2012 has been a great opportunity for South Africa, perhaps more so than ever before,” says Theresa Bay-Müller, South African Tourism Country Manager in Germany. “We’ve got big plans for the German market, we’ve grown market share and confidence in destination South Africa is stable. The emphasis of our communication – one that centres around an authentic, heartfelt connection for travellers with the people of South Africa on their travels to the country - is key to future growth here, especially given German travel trends and a repeat visitor rate of over 40%. We need to remain dynamic, agile and innovative in this market.

“The networking function was a big success for us, allowing us to literally bring a piece of South Africa right into the heart of Germany, giving the trade the opportunity to experience first-hand what we, as the destination holistically, can offer the German traveller. It was a great evening that was enjoyed by all, and it served to remind us yet again of the dynamic, exciting and life-changing country we market on a daily basis.”

Ends

For further information contact:

Jermaine Craig at South African Tourism
Tel: +27 11 895 3000 or 083 2010 121

Email: jermaine@southafrica.net

Website www.southafrica.net

Inquiries at Ireland/Davenport can be directed to:

Allison MacDonald at Ireland Davenport

Tel: +27 11 463 2252 or 082 771 2541.

Email: Allison.macdonald@ireland-davenport.co.za

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South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for the marketing of South Africa as a preferred tourist destination. It is headed up by Chief Executive Officer, Mr Thulani Nzima, Chief Operating Officer Mr Timothy Scholtz and Chief Marketing Officer, Ms Roshene Singh.