4 March 2013

Strong South African presence at ITB Berlin 2013

South Africa is looking to capitalise on good growth in German tourist arrivals over the last three years by sending a strong delegation to ITB Berlin 2013 from 6 to 10 March.

South African Tourism's stand at ITB Berlin in 2012 One of South African Tourism's recent stands at ITB Berlin 

Germany is a very important market for us and at ITB we plan to further stimulate the excellent tourist-arrivals growth achieved in this market. – Thulani Nzima, South African Tourism CEO.

The South African delegation to ITB Berlin 2013 is being led by Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, who will meet the German travel trade and the global media to reveal South Africa’s successes and marketing plans for Europe and Germany. The delegation includes 44 South African exhibitors.

Thulani Nzima, South African Tourism (SAT) CEO, said that while South Africa is well known for its spectacular scenic beauty and unparalleled wildlife and safari experiences, SAT will also showcase the country’s lifestyle and heritage experiences at the travel trade show, which attracts more than 180 000 delegates annually from around the world.

'Our research shows that authentic experiences with South Africa’s people and experiencing the country the way its people experience it is what tourists to our shores are after. They are also interested in learning about South Africa’s history, and experiencing our local food and culture,' he explained.

Germans have long been aware of South Africa’s charms, being the only European core market that has showed consistent growth since 2009. Between January and October 2012, tourist arrivals from Germany to South Africa grew by 12.9%.

'Germany is a very important market for us and at ITB we plan to further stimulate the excellent tourist-arrivals growth achieved in this market,' he said.

SAT’s marketing campaigns have been highly visible in Germany over the past year. Its 'Packendes Sudafrika' campaign, which featured on three popular German TV shows, generated more than 280 000 website visits in its first phase. As part of the campaign, SAT hosted more than 100 German journalists in South Africa to experience the heartfelt connections that the country offers.

SAT has also marketed South Africa by branding trains on Deutsche Bahn tracks for the past 12 months, reaching about 20-million consumers.

Six million German consumers also connected with South Africa during the eight-month ‘Be WILD. Be MINI. In South Africa!’ campaign. The campaign ran on all MINI Germany communication channels and included 200 events with MINI retailers.

South Africa has also partnered with SportScheck, branding 17 SportScheck stores and reaching more than seven million consumers. In addition, a three-month cinema campaign ran in 26 German cities, sweeping German audiences away for 60 seconds to a warm, faraway place  – a break from hectic city life in Germany.

'Our investment in Germany extends beyond building consumer awareness. The German travel trade is essentially an SAT strategic partner. We have joint marketing agreements with about 17 German tour operators that work with us to sell the destination to a growing market,' said Nzima.

He added that trade workshops and familiarisation visits ensure SAT’s partners in the German market are able to easily sell South Africa. They are also kept well-informed on the immense variety of experiences and activities offered in South Africa. In the last year alone, 3 200 German travel agents attended South African destination workshops or went on familiarisation trips.

'We offer value for money and a real escape to a destination that is warm, friendly and diverse with spectacular scenery. We are delighted that Germany remains a strong, vibrant and robust market for us. However, we are always able to do more, do better and give more Germans the opportunity to visit South Africa. We will use this platform at ITB to further grow tourist arrivals from this market and the region as a whole,' Nzima concluded.