9 October 2013

Top German journalists to visit South Africa with Thomas Cook

Sixty-five of Germany’s top journalists will be visiting South Africa in early November when Thomas Cook holds its annual media conference in South Africa.

Michael Tenzer, CEO: Thomas Cook Central Europe Michael Tenzer, CEO of Thomas Cook Central Europe

South Africa is a very important destination to us with a lot of potential. – Michael Tenzer, CEO of Thomas Cook AG Central Europe

Thomas Cook AG, the Germany-based subsidiary of the Thomas Cook Group, will be hosting the Thomas Cook Annual Press Conference and Catalogue Presentation in South Africa on 2 November 2013.

This is the first time Thomas Cook AG has chosen a long-haul destination for this high-profile event, giving South Africa the stamp of approval from one of the largest and most influential tourism operators in the world.

Thomas Cook is one of South African Tourism’s (SAT) key trading partners in Germany, and the press conference and catalogue presentation gives SAT an invaluable opportunity to address German travel, tourism and news journalists, as well as the influential Thomas Cook AG management team.

Among the Thomas Cook AG executives who will be attending the event are Michael Tenzer (CEO: Thomas Cook Central Europe); Stephan Braun (executive director of hotel contracting and destination management: Continental Europe); Sascha Büsseler (head of product management: long haul and selection Thomas Cook Touristik); and Mathias Brandes (executive director of communications: Continental Europe).

Tenzer said Thomas Cook is very excited and looking forward to presenting the new Neckermann Reisen and Thomas Cook brochures for summer 2014 in South Africa.

'South Africa is a very important destination to us with a lot of potential. It's a very diverse and fascinating country and through our multifaceted programme we will showcase to journalists just how beautiful and inspiring it is. Personally, I'm looking forward to once again returning to South Africa,' he said.

Theresa Bay-Müller, SAT country manager for Germany, said Thomas Cook AG’s decision to host the press conference in South Africa is a fantastic vote of confidence in destination South Africa by one of the leading tour operators in Germany.

'Germany has been one of South Africa’s key source markets for many years, and is a market that continues to grow, thanks – in no small measure – to the incredible support from operators like Thomas Cook AG,’ she said.

Over the past 20 years of South Africa’s democracy, tourist arrivals from Germany have increased by 153%. In 1994, 105 000 German tourists visited South Africa, while 2012 saw 266 000 Germans visiting the country.

And in 2012, tourist arrivals from Germany were up 13% compared with 2011 arrivals. This growth trend has continued in 2013, with January-to-May statistics revealing a 14% increase in German tourist arrivals compared with January to May 2012.

Bay-Müller said the press conference and pre- and-post tours that the journalists are going on are expected to lead to widespread media coverage of South Africa in the German press. 'This will further enhance South Africa's profile as a top tourist destination among German travellers and create even greater awareness of the destination,' she commented.

While in Johannesburg, the journalists will be taken on various city tours and excursions, giving them the opportunity to discover interesting stories and connect with ordinary South Africans.

They will then depart on tours of Gauteng, the North West province, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal before returning to Germany.