The struggling local tourism industry, which is feeling the pinch due to the strong Rand and the depressed United Kingdom economy, is delighted that the country’s tourism marketing body is to spend R 30 million in encouraging locals to travel in South Africa, and not go overseas, reports Biz.Community.com.
The SA Tourism TV, radio, print, online, mobile and outdoor advertising campaign is to encourage locals to go on affordable ‘domestic’ trips more often, Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, said at the launch of the campaign. The Minister described ‘domestic tourism’ as the ‘backbone of the industry’, and quoted figures that show significant growth from 22% to 31 % of percentage spend on holiday travel in just twelve months. In passenger numbers, domestic tourists represent 79% of tourists traveling in the country. In 2010, 29,7 million domestic trips were undertaken by South Africans, generating an income of R21,1 billion.
“The message is clear here: tourism and culture are related and we are going to increase our marketing resources this year to showcase our hidden treasures to our citizens. South Africa has a very young population that has begun to travel”, said S A Tourism CEO Thandiwe January-McLean. SA Tourism’s partners in the domestic tourism marketing campaign include MTN, Pick ‘n Pay, Kulula.com, Flight Centre and Thompsons Holidays.
At the launch function, the Cycad Modjadji Nature Reserve with more than 10000 cycads, some as old as 6000 years, was launched.
At the recent Western Cape Tourism Destination Conference the message was loud and clear: maintain the international source markets, but focus on domestic tourism, due to the economic downturn, reflecting S A Tourism’s marketing action.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecotatge.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage