27 June 2012

New cookbook enhances South Africa’s efforts to cater for the tastes and needs of new tourist markets

South African Tourism publishes ‘Guide to Vegetarian, Vegan and Jain Dining in South Africa’ as more and more tourists flock to South Africa from emerging markets

Vegetarian cuisine Delicious vegetarian cuisine

The increase in visitors from emerging markets has given us a good dilemma – how can we better cater for the travel needs of our visitors from these new markets? How can we literally make them feel ‘at home’ in our country, ensure they are welcomed as family and ensure that their every need – including their specific dietary requirements - is catered for while they are here. South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Thulani Nzima


SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM (SA Tourism) is helping the country’s hospitality industry to cook up a storm and to better cater for the steadily growing number of tourists from emerging markets who choose South Africa as their next holiday destination.

As more and more tourists flock to South Africa from markets such as India, China and Brazil, gearing up to cater for their palates and their dietary requirements is becoming increasingly important.

With this in mind, SA Tourism has partnered with the South African Chefs Association (SACA) to produce a cookbook called ‘Guide to Vegetarian, Vegan and Jain Dining in South Africa,’ which was launched today at the University of Johannesburg’s Sol Kerzner School of Tourism and Hospitality.

The ‘Guide to Vegetarian, Vegan and Jain Dining in South Africa*’ sets out the specific dietary requirements of vegetarians, vegans and Jains; gives lists of food items that each group may (and may not) eat; gives a brief explanation of the culture that informs the dietary needs of these tourists; and gives a broad selection of mouth-watering recipes that will keep vegetarian, vegan and Jain visitors happy and well-fed as they explore and fall in love with South Africa.

The book also includes 50 appetising and nourishing easy to prepare meals using fresh ingredients that are readily available locally. Moreover, it is a collection of recipes by some of South Africa’s finest chefs and each recipe offers a mouth-watering way to keep non-meat eaters delighted with the flavours, textures and variety that South Africa offers.

“South Africa’s tourism industry reached record heights in 2011, as we reached our highest-ever figure of 8.3 million international tourist arrivals. Our core markets in Europe and North America remain our major tourist markets. But what we saw in 2011 was the importance of emerging markets and the increasing numbers of tourists visiting us from countries such as India, China and Brazil. From India alone, we welcomed 90 367 tourists in 2011 - 26.2 percent more than in 2010,” South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Thulani Nzima, said at the launch today, attended by Indian High Commissioner to South Africa Virendra Gupta and members of the tourism industry .

“The increase in visitors from emerging markets has given us a good dilemma – how can we better cater for the travel needs of our visitors from these new markets? How can we literally make them feel ‘at home’ in our country, ensure they are welcomed as family and ensure that their every need – including their specific dietary requirements - is catered for while they are here,” Nzima added.

It was critical, Nzima continued, for South African Tourism to understand the needs of these tourists, so that the organisation could better work with the tourism industry to ensure they were catered for.

South African Tourism had recently completed extensive research in the Indian market about Indian tourists’ travel behaviour, to determine what Indian visitors were looking for from their ideal holiday.

Among the findings were that:

- More than half of Indian travellers come to South Africa in large groups comprising family and friends;

- More than half of them say the cuisine on offer in their leisure destination of choice is an important factor when choosing where to go on holiday - and where to stay; and

- These visitors prefer accommodation with inter-leading rooms for the holiday party – be that family or friends.

“We encourage South Africa’s hospitality industry to ensure they get a copy of the book, to add the various recipes to their menus, and educate and equip themselves to cater in inimitable South African fashion to travellers from our new emerging markets,” said Nzima.

Guide to Vegetarian, Vegan and Jain Dining in South Africa will be made available extensively to South Africa’s hospitality industry and will also be distributed to 6000 chefs through the South African Chefs Association.

*Jainism is an Indian religion that follows a path of non-violence toward all living creatures. Jains do not eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs or dairy products and do not eat root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots and beetroot, as well as yeast, while for strict Jains garlic, ginger and vinegar are also not permissible.

*A person following a vegan diet eats no animal products whatsoever. A vegan diet excludes meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, cheese and butter. A vegan diet focuses largely on fruit, vegetables, nuts and various forms of protein.

*A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, poultry, fish or shellfish, but generally does eat eggs and dairy products (including butter and milk)

Issued by South African Tourism

Ends

For further information contact

Jermaine Craig at South African Tourism

Tel: +27 83 2010 121

jermaine@southafrica.net

Allison MacDonald at Ireland/Davenport

Tel: +27 82 771 2541

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, Thulani Nzima; Chief Operating Officer, Mr Timothy Scholtz and Chief Marketing Officer, Ms Roshene Singh.