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South African Tourism is embarking on an ambitious pilot project in March 2018 where 90 tourism trade participants from the Nordic region will be hosted in South Africa on a mega-familiarisation trip that will expose them to a range of local travel products across all nine provinces – including small businesses.

To this end, South African Tourism is finalising a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with 11 local destination marketing companies (DMCs) including SEEZA, a unique and dynamic new black-owned DMC made up of a network of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs). South African Airways is also a key partner in this collaboration, and has been integral to selecting the agents that will attend. Leading from the front, this is a collaborative initiative with the greater tourism industry, including the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA).

Significantly, the DMCs that are being signed up to participate in this pilot project will have to stipulate and demonstrate how they will use South African SMMEs in their proposed itineraries.

This is in line with South African Tourism’s drive to initiate smart, results-driven partnerships in the Nordic region in order to grow arrivals to South Africa, as part of its “5-in-5” strategy to attract five million more international and domestic tourist trips within the next five years.

South Africa welcomed more than 100 000 travellers from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland in 2016, and the region has been identified as being ripe for further tourism growth.


Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism, Sisa Ntshona stated that “one of the key benefits of this collaboration is that the DMCs will be required to employ a 60/40 split in the proportion of mainstream versus small businesses that will be showcased during the trip. This will forge meaningful business connections and encourage sustainable tourism growth.”

Ntshona explained that the project aims to increase awareness of the variety of South African travel products that can be packaged for the Nordic trade (hence inviting 90 sellers to the country at the same time), while compelling the large DMCs to work with small businesses and incorporate them into itineraries in a meaningful way – “not just to get this project off the ground, but to find sustainable ways of working together going forward”, he said.

“At the same time, we will be showcasing all provinces and highlighting the opportunity to package more than just the usual experiences that are traditionally highlighted. We believe that this collaborative approach will contribute immensely to the culture of forging strategic partnerships in the tourism sector, in order to broaden the geographical spread of tourism while empowering SMMEs and bringing about inclusive growth,” Ntshona said.

The trip will showcase the various leisure sites and remarkable tourist attractions available in South Africa, exposing the tourism trade from the Nordic region to different itineraries in all nine provinces while ensuring these itineraries are aligned to what Nordic travellers want, he added.

The participating DMCs operating per province are:

  • Limpopo and Mpumalanga
    • SW Africa Destination Management and Royal African Discoveries


  • KwaZulu-Natal
    • Inspirations Travel and Tours and & Beyond


  • Gauteng and Free State
    • SEEZA Destination Network


  • Eastern Cape and North West province
    • Thompsons Africa and Tourvest DMC


  • Northern Cape and Western Cape
    • Get Africa Travel and Southern Africa 360 Luxury Holidays


  • Cape Town City
    • Propel Africa Destination Management and GiltEdge Travel


Both mainstream and small businesses are welcome to get involved in the project by contacting the relevant DMC for their province.


For more information, please contact:

Abby Swartz

South African Tourism

Marketing and Promotion Manager: Nordic Region


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