21 August 2012

SA Tourism unveils 5-year strategic plan

Key objectives are to grow tourism’s contribution to the economy by 1,5% annually, create a thriving tourism sector, and make the South African brand a global player in portfolio markets.

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

SA Tourism’s future approach will be to operate hubs in key regions such as Africa, Japan, South Korea, South America and the Nordic region. A hub strategy will significantly increase potential tourist arrivals from these regions - Thulani Nzima, South African Tourism CEO.

South African Tourism CEO, Thulani Nzima, outlined South African Tourism’s (SA Tourism) strategic plans at the recent Tourism Business Council of South Africa AGM.

SA Tourism will invest only in selected markets that deliver volume and value. It will convince consumers that SA can be trusted to deliver memorable experiences. Stakeholders will be engaged to deliver quality visitor experiences, and it will work with distribution channels to promote South Africa.

Nzima said these strategies were aimed at achieving the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) targets. Among these are to grow foreign tourist arrivals to 15-million by 2020 and domestic tourists to 18-million.

NTSS targets also aim to see the creation of 225 000 jobs in the South African tourism sector by 2020, and increase tourism’s contribution to GDP from an estimated R189.4-billion in 2009 to R499-billion in 2020.

In the 2013/14 financial year, SA Tourism’s marketing focus will be to create consistent positive awareness about South Africa as a preferred destination.

Domestic marketing will remain the bedrock of the tourism industry. The new domestic tourism campaign, Vaya Mzansi is positioned around the theme ‘Whatever you’re looking for, it’s here’. It focuses on affordable, accessible packages geared to the new market segments recently identified through SA Tourism research. 

The National Convention Bureau’s ‘Team SA’ approach will focus on building South Africa’s competitiveness as a business events destination.

Furthermore, South Africa’s status as a global wildlife and adventure leader, lifestyle mecca and leading business events destination will be solidified through rich media, video, word of mouth, and innovative content. An innovative digital strategy to engage and convert consumers is a core part of the marketing strategy.

Brand awareness will be built through communication of SA Tourism’s brand message on relevant global media platforms. Sales toolkits and expert learning courses like FUNDI, and familiarisation trips will be used to expand the footprint and knowledge of the trade who sell South Africa.

Nzima said SA Tourism’s future approach would be to operate hubs in key regions such as Africa, Japan, South Korea, South America and the Nordic region. ‘A hub strategy will significantly increase potential tourist arrivals from these regions,’ he commented.

In Africa, SA Tourism will create hubs in East, Central and West Africa. Its East African hub will serve Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Its Central African hub will serve the DRC and Congo-Brazzaville, and its West African hub, Nigeria and Ghana.

Nzima highlighted the importance of regional Africa in meeting NTSS targets. ‘Africa delivers more than 70% of all arrivals every year. It is growing, it’s accessible, and represents untapped potential,’ he said.

As part of its African strategy, SA Tourism is setting up offices in Angola, Nigeria, Kenya and the DRC. These will all be operational within 5 years.

South Africa’s core markets (those that present the greatest opportunities for South Africa in terms of growing tourist arrivals) are Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, USA, Australia, India, France Germany, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Its investment markets (those where investment is made for future returns) - are the DRC, Mozambique, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong), Japan, Belgium, Italy and Sweden.

SA Tourism’s portfolio of markets is reviewed every 3 years. The 5th portfolio review is taking place in the current financial year.