2 May 2012

Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy launched

Domestic tourism contributed 76% of South Africa’s total tourism volume in 2011,  R20 billion to the country’s economy, and substantially to job creation and sustainability.

Marthinus van Schalkwyk Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk

We are determined to promote and enhance domestic tourism and implement strategies to grow this sector, which is the very lifeblood of our tourism industry and one of our key focus areas. - Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism.

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk launched the new Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy in Cape Town on 2 May 2012.

The strategy includes South African Tourism’s (SAT) new domestic marketing campaign, under the tagline: ‘Whatever you are looking for, it’s right here in South Africa’.

Van Schalkwyk called on South Africans to be tourists in their own country and experience the beauty of their land, their rich culture and heritage, and the warmth and hospitality of their fellow citizens.

‘We are determined to promote and enhance domestic tourism and implement strategies to grow this sector, which is the very lifeblood of our tourism industry and one of our key focus areas,’ he said.

The new Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy is in further response to the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) announced last year. This set clear targets for domestic and foreign arrivals and projected contributions to the country’s GDP.

In terms of the NTSS, the National Department of Tourism aims to grow domestic trips to 54 million by 2020 and ensure that domestic tourism makes up 60% of tourism’s overall GDP contribution.

Van Schalkwyk said 26.4 million domestic trips were taken in 2011 compared with 29.7 million in 2010. However, more than 13.9 million adult South Africans travelled domestically in 2011, up 3% from the 13.5 million who took domestic trips in 2010.

In 2011, the average spend per domestic trip grew to R780 per trip (from an average of R710 per trip in 2010).

Van Schalkwyk said that while trip numbers had declined, more South Africans were travelling for leisure purposes.

‘The strategy aims to increase domestic tourism revenue and expand domestic tourism volume. It aims to enhance efforts to address seasonality and equitable geographic spread of domestic travel, and entrench a culture of tourism among South Africans. It centres on innovation, stakeholder participation, and the offering of authentic, affordable experiences and packages that meet the needs of all potential local travellers,’ he said.

He added that the new Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy and SAT’s new domestic marketing campaign have taken into account that consumers are increasingly cautious about how they spend their money.

‘They seek and demand exceptional value, and that is what the sector intends to offer,’ he concluded.