4 November 2013

​Thomas Cook event gives destination South Africa huge exposure

Johannesburg is the host destination for one of the world’s leading leisure travel groups,Thomas Cook’s annual Press Conference and Catalogue Presentation.

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

“We are delighted that South Africa, Johannesburg in particular, has been chosen as the venue for the 2013 Thomas Cook Press Conference. This is an incredible vote of confidence in the destination by one of the biggest tour operators in Germany and one of the leading travel businesses in the world.” Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer at South African Tourism.

Johannesburg is the host destination for one of the world’s leading leisure travel groups,Thomas Cook’s annual Press Conference and Catalogue Presentation. Taking place on 2 November 2013 at the Johannesburg City Hall, this is the first time ever that a long haul destination has been given the opportunity to host this prestigious event.

Destinations pitch to host this annual event, giving the host country a unique opportunity to market the destination to a captive, influential audience made up of 65 leading German journalists as well as Thomas Cook’s executive management team.

“We are delighted that South Africa, Johannesburg in particular, has been chosen as the venue for the 2013 Thomas Cook Press Conference. This is an incredible vote of confidence in the destination by one of the biggest tour operators in Germany and one of the leading travel businesses in the world. This opportunity builds on the already excellent partnership that South African Tourism has with the company to drive profitability, grow arrivals and make South Africa ever more accessible for German travellers,” says Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer at South African Tourism.

Germany is South Africa’s third largest source market for tourist arrivals and one of the best performing markets in recent years. Last year, South Africa welcomed 266 333 German tourists – 13 % up from the 235 774 that visited in 2011. Growth for 2013 continues to look promising with 135 136 German tourist having already visited South Africa in the first half of this year compared to 118 776 in the same period last year.

 “The press conference is an excellent opportunity for the country and Johannesburg in particular to showcase the destination to a high-level delegation from this important market.  Long viewed as merely an entry point into South Africa, Johannesburg is fast emerging as a tourist destination that provides tourists a real sense of what South Africa is all about. The economic heart of the continent, this city is with rich history, vibrant communities, a burgeoning art scene and a melting pot of cultures. Johannesburg offers visitors an excellent sense of what it is that makes this country one of the most alive, exciting and creative destinations in the world today,” he says.

Together with its partners, South African Airways, Gauteng Tourism Authority, The City of Johannesburg and Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, South African Tourism has prepared a range of activities for the journalists during their stay in South Africa. This includes tours of Johannesburg ahead of the conference as well as post tours from the 3rd to the 5th of November, with an emphasis on giving the media an opportunity to engage with local people. The group will be split into four smaller groups with tours focusing on culture & lifestyle, wildlife and city-buzz incorporating five different provinces, Gauteng, North-West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. 

“We are very excited and look forward to presenting the new Neckermann Reisen and Thomas Cook brochures for summer 2014 in South Africa, a very diverse and fascinating country. During the few days in the country, we will experience a multifaceted program – showcasing to the German journalists just how beautiful and inspiring South Africa is. It is a very important destination to us with a lot of potential. Personally, I’m looking forward to returning to South Africa once again,” said Michael Tenzer, Chief Executive Officer: Thomas Cook Germany.

“This will be the biggest ever media familiarisation trip hosted by South African Tourism Germany. It is an incredible opportunity for us, as we prepare to celebrate 20 years of democracy, to increase awareness of the destination in Germany and increase positivity towards the destination by encouraging exciting new story angles driven by real interactions with South Africa’s warm, welcoming, diverse and colourful people,” concludes Nzima.