South Africa Tourism CEO focused on promoting lesser-known destinations

South Africa Tourism is focused on promoting lesser-known regions of the country in its marketing strategies, the board's chief executive told travel trade media at this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba conference.

Nombulelo Guliwe said the Western Cape was the most popular region for luxury tourists but said the board was focused on adopting “unified messaging” for the destination in a bid to attract travellers to less-discovered destinations such as the Northern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal province.

“I’m very interested in the markets where over the years we have lost market share because we haven’t recovered,” she said. 

“We started a global brand campaign in July 2023 based on feedback that our marketing was fragmented and therefore diluted the messaging for the country so the key guidelines for the campaign are around unified messaging and identifying who needs to pay what in the tourism value chain, so they’ll be able to drive the numbers to South Africa.”

The aim is to also prevent over-tourism in certain areas, she added.

She said: “It’s important that the communities who live there can experience the natural assets. We’ve got nine beautiful provinces with diverse offerings and higher repeat rates. I encourage everyone to try and explore as much of the country as possible.”

Due to the spending power of affluent travellers, Guliwe said that growing the luxury market was “very important” as well as “maintaining and preserving” the country’s current product and experiential offering.

To aid their efforts to promote the region and improve knowledge of the country, South Africa Tourism also recently pledged to host more travel agent fam trips this year.

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