SA Tourism is to concentrate 60 % of its 2012/2013 marketing budget on its traditional tourism core markets of the USA, UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Australia, as well as on India, and the African countries Bostwana, Angola, Kenya, and Nigeria, Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk told Parliament’s Tourism Committee earlier this week, according to Business Report. Unfortunately the report does not provide the size of the new marketing budget.
Minister van Schalkwyk highlighted the increasing contribution of Africa to tourism, exceeding that from other countries outside our continent, and the beneficial effect this has on our economy. He added that previous buying and business trips from Africa were turning into a ‘true tourism market’, and he has therefore added R15 million for additional marketing in Africa, ring-fenced for this purpose, and ‘essential for South Africa to be the dominant tourism market on the continent’. The Minister and his department have been criticised in the past for tourism arrival statistics from Africa being so high, and have been blamed on cross-border shopping trips, and not true travel trips. The Minister said he would like high income earners from African countries such as Kenya and Nigeria to do their shopping in South Africa rather than in Europe.
A further 20 % of the SA Tourism marketing budget will be focused on ‘Investment markets… in the hope of improved returns in the future’, which are BRICS countries China and Brazil, as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Belgium, Italy, and Sweden. ‘Tactical markets’, including New Zealand, Ireland, Lesotho, and Swaziland, are to receive an unreported budget allocation in that they offer ‘particular opportunities’.
The Minister acknowledged the local domestic tourism market, which ‘enabled the industry to hedge against global insecurity but also improve the local quality of life’. The Department of Tourism is targeting 18 million local tourists (a 23 % increase from 2009) and 15 million international visitors for 2020.
A week ago we called on the Department of Tourism to not neglect the traditional core source markets, especially Germany, a country showing strong tourism growth, and therefore the dominance of the spend on these traditional core markets is excellent news. One wonders though how far the marketing budget will stretch, with 25 countries having been included in the SA Tourism marketing mix!
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage