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4 April 2013

South African Tourism kicks off provincial road show of all nine provinces

South African Tourism, led by its Chief Executive Officer Thulani Nzima, are going on the road this year, visiting each of the nine provinces to meet with provincial and local tourism industry counterparts.

Thulani Nzima, South African Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima, South African Tourism CEO

“Tourism is every South African’s business. Our industry is a major driver of GDP growth. It creates and sustains thousands of jobs and is the livelihood of millions of South Africans

SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM, led by its Chief Executive Officer Thulani Nzima, are going on the road this year, visiting each of the nine provinces to meet with provincial and local tourism industry counterparts to discuss tourism trends and to personally experience old and new tourism products.   
The ‘Connecti9ns’ road show kicked off this week in the Western Cape, where Nzima is being hosted by WESGRO to get first-hand knowledge of the tourism products on offer in one of the world’s most popular tourist regions. This three-day visit also included talks with city of Cape Town and Western Cape provincial tourism authorities and key industry stakeholders on the region’s tourism challenges and opportunities; as well as South African Tourism’s consumer insights.   
“The tourism industry is a flourishing and critical sector. But we need to look beyond the numbers and refresh our understanding of the newest tourism products and the latest trends affecting the industry. The past year has consistently seen tourism growth of over 10% from all of our markets.  We need to understand how we gear up to meet this increase and how we cater for any new trends in tourist preferences and behaviour. This is why our road show this year to meet our provincial counterparts and tourism industry partners is such an important project for us,” said Nzima.   
South African Tourism is visiting the provinces, Nzima said, “to experience these tourism products and to get more exposure because as a destination marketing organization, it is important that we better understand the products we are selling.”     South African Tourism have in recent years focused on promoting South Africa as far more than a wildlife destination, but one that also offers rich lifestyle tourist attractions in the areas of design, fashion, music and the arts.  
 “Cape Town’s status as 2014 World Design Capital is a major coup for us all and we have very successfully leveraged international events such as this weekend’s Cape Town International Jazz Festival, as well as Cape Town Fashion Week and Design Indaba to showcase South Africa’s fantastic lifestyle tourism attractions,” Nzima told tourism industry partners and the media at the Shimmy Beach Club today, after visiting the popular Woodstock design district.  
 Nzima said South African Tourism worked with major global media partners such as CNN and National Geographic, as well as with the likes of TripAdvisor to showcase the Western Cape and also hosted hundreds of international journalists to the region and the rest of the country each year.   
And while virtually all international tourists included Cape Town and the Western Cape on their South African itineraries, Nzima said it was equally important for the province to attract more domestic tourists.  
 “We want every South African in every corner of the country to experience the joy of being a tourist in their own land. Domestic tourism accounts for more than 70 percent of all tourists in the country at any given time and domestic tourism growth can only be achieved through close collaboration and synergy between national government and provincial and local tourism authorities,” said Nzima.  
 “Our challenge is to encourage all South Africans to travel here by road, rail, air or sea. We also need to work to encourage all Capetonians and Western Cape residents to experience Cape Town and the Western Cape as tourists: whether it’s taking a trip up to the top of Table Mountain or spending a day at the beach. The people of this province live in one of the world’s most beautiful and popular tourist destinations. They need to experience it in the same way as hundreds of thousands of tourists are experiencing it each year,” Nzima added.  
 “Tourism is every South African’s business. Our industry is a major driver of GDP growth. It creates and sustains thousands of jobs and is the livelihood of millions of South Africans. It is an industry worth championing and protecting and we can only do so as a strong tourism industry collective,” concluded Nzima.  
 Wesgro CEO Nils Flaatten commented: “we are pleased that SA Tourism has chosen Cape Town & the Western Cape to kick off their road show as this affords us the opportunity to showcase our beautiful province and to meet our stakeholders. Domestic tourism has been a strong driver for the tourism industry over the last few years and we hope that SA Tourism can assist us in continuing to grow these figures.”   This was the first in a series of provincial visits by South African Tourism. The ‘Connectio9ns’ road show will be taking place in all nine provinces throughout the year.     
Ends.  
 Issued by South African Tourism   
For further information contact Jermaine Craig at SA Tourism​ Tel: +27 83 201 0121 Email: Jermaine@southafrica.net     
Allison MacDonald at Ireland Davenport Public Relations Tel: +27 82 771 2541 Email: allison.macdonald@ireland-davenport.co.za   
Website www.southafrica.net Register on our media extranet to browse the latest news releases (from SA Tourism as well as the tourism industry in general), access the news archive and get details of all upcoming tourism industry events (both locally and internationally). http://www.southafrica.net/media 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.