11 June 2012

German travel agents to experience the best of South Africa

A hundred travel agents from Germany are currently on a familiarisation trip in South Africa to learn more about the destination.

SA Tourism is focused on encouraging German visitors to visit South Africa

We have been welcomed with open arms. The beauty of the scenery and the infrastructure capability are rivalled only by the warmth and friendliness of the people. It’s no wonder Germans love South Africa. - Jens Hulversohn, director of marketing and sales at Gebeco

Culture, heritage, entertainment, wildlife, adventure… South Africa has so much to offer the international visitor – as a group of German travel agents are discovering on a 10-day familiarisation (FAM) trip.

Organised by leading German tour operator, Gebeco, in partnership with South African Tourism, the trip is aimed at giving the travel agents an unforgettable experience in South Africa so that they can sell the destination with confidence. In what's being unofficially called the 'Gebeco Experience Tour', the agents will be given the opportunity to experience various leisure and adventure activities in South Africa over 10 unforgettable days.

Jens Hulversohn, director of marketing and sales at Gebeco, who is part of the tour group, says, 'We have been welcomed with open arms. The beauty of the scenery and the infrastructure capability are rivalled only by the warmth and friendliness of the people. It’s no wonder Germans love South Africa.'

The figures show that South Africa’s popularity as a destination is growing in Germany, despite the worldwide recession. Last year arrivals from Germany grew by 9.3% (235 774) and by the end of February this year arrivals were 7.8% up on February 2011 numbers.

Theresa Bay-M?ller, Country Manager: Germany at South African Tourism says: 'The Gebeco FAM gives a hundred of the most influential agents in that market an opportunity to explore and enjoy South Africa. To experience our adventure offerings, our culture, our amazing scenic beauty and our awesome infrastructure. It also gives them the chance to see for themselves that South Africa is the most accessible, inviting, warm, friendly and hospitable destination in the world. In short, the FAM will deliver evidence of the heartfelt connections that people make when they visit us.'

A 'Sustainability in connection with the destination' workshop was held in Cape Town, followed by an evening celebrating South African music and culture.

'An important aspect of what we do is to constantly educate travel agents about destination South Africa, its people and the products. The workshop was useful in that it addressed issues and answered questions while delivering the experience of South Africa at the same time," says Bay-M?ller.

The Gebeco agents will leave the country on 14 June 2012.