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15 November 2013

SAT North America wins prestigious award

South African Tourism (SAT) North America has been honoured for the third consecutive year with a Gold Magellan Award by Travel Weekly magazine.

Sthu Zungu, president of SAT North America Sthu Zungu, president of SAT North America

Hosting influential travel bloggers gives us the ability to tap into a massive online audience with the immediacy of real time. The content these bloggers create lives online forever and is forever improving South Africa’s searchability. – Sthu Zungu, president of SAT North America

SAT North America took home the gold award in the 'Destinations – Overall – Social Media' category for its #VisitSouthAfrica social media influencer programme in the recent Travel Weekly Magellan Awards.

The Magellan Awards honour the best travel companies and outstanding professionals in the US travel industry. They are one of two major awards in the US that honour marketing work being done in the travel industry.

Travel Weekly magazine and its online offering, TravelWeekly.com, are among the most influential B2B news resources for the travel industry in the US. From January to June 2012 (the latest available statistics), Travel Weekly had an average monthly print circulation of more than 37 500, with its website attracting an average of 229 304 unique monthly browsers.

#VisitSouthAfrica is a re-imagining of traditional hosted media trips – all participants are influential bloggers or content creators. SAT North America has brought several online influencers to South Africa to experience the destination, and to date, #VisitSouthAfrica has generated hundreds of blog posts, thousands of pieces of content and more than 47-million page impressions.

Sthu Zungu, president of SAT North America, said that hosting influential bloggers and content creators has resulted in far greater media coverage for South Africa than traditional media trips.

'Hosting influential travel bloggers gives us the ability to tap into a massive online audience with the immediacy of real time. The content these bloggers create lives online forever and is forever improving South Africa's searchability,' she said.

On average, online influencers taking trips to South Africa each produce around eight articles, plus share hundreds of tweets, Facebook posts and photographs during their trip.

Members of this new media-focused group are more flexible and more willing to leave their comfort zone to discover all that the destination has to offer.

Since coverage is constant throughout the trip, not just the big experiences are reported on – smaller properties, SMME products and experiences that traditionally don't get media access or online content created around their offerings are therefore also showcased. The benefit to smaller tourism products that can't afford to advertise or host their own journalists is significant.