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TTapping into the North American young adult market youth is one way that the South African tourism industry can achieve growth from this region.

This is the view of Iris Serbanescu who is the director of partnerships at TourRadar, an online travel agency that specialises in multi day tours across 200 countries.

Serbanescu was part of the Canadian travel partners that attended the South Africa Tourism (SA Tourism) and Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) North America roadshow in Toronto, yesterday.

SA Tourism and TBCSA have embarked on roadshow to several key markets to unlock the growth potential that the South African tourism industry requires to achieve the 2030 goal set by President Cyril Ramaphosa, of 21 million arrivals.

“About 35% of all the North American travellers we have sent to South Africa in 2019 so far, were between the ages of 25-34,” said Serbanescu, adding that average days spent in South Africa by this demographic is around eight days per trip.

“This is also the fastest growing segment for us specifically in South Africa, growing at 65% year on year which is higher than the 50-plus growth rate.”

All this is good news for the South African tourism industry as these insights are valuable when making decisions to market to the various segmentations in the market. Marketing now to the younger demographic will benefit the industry in the long run.

“You have to start informing the younger demographic about the opportunities for travel. The older people might have more money, but the younger demographic is more willing to get to the more off the beaten paths within the country, and eventually they will become the older market that will have the money, so if South Africa can get in now and really understand what that market needs and wants and how to communicate with them, you are on the best trajectory,” explained Serbanescu.

Commenting on the content of the roadshow, Serbanescu also praised the efforts of SA Tourism and the TBCSA.

“It was interesting to see how much value the South African team places on trade insights to inform their strategy. Not every tourism board will come to their markets and ask the right questions and I felt that the questions that were asked today were really key and moving the South African tourism industry forward,” concluded Serbanescu.

Serbanescu suggested that to target the 25-34 demographic, a through and well thought out influencer strategy is a must along with a targeted media approach.

The roadshow moves from Toronto to Chicago and the final leg of the roadshow is scheduled for New York on Thursday.



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