Andrew J. Wein - Aug 1, 2011
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South African tourism has been suffering in recent months and the country is trying to develop specific new strategies which will help target tourists from other African countries.

Last year, the World Cup brought millions of visitors to South Africa; such a dose of international attention is highly desirable for any African economy and SA was clearly benefiting from the tournament.

However, this year’s statistics bring no positive news and Mr Phumi Dhlomo, who is the SA regional director for Africa and domestic markets, works hard with his team on developing a new strategy, which will specifically target tourists from other African countries. The countries in question are mainly Kenya, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.

Mr Dhlomo and his team are trying to monitor these regional markets and aim to establish what type of tourists to approach and how to form the new marketing strategy. It appears the emerging middle class is very promising; featuring travelers often in their mid-30s and older, whose interests very often include an appetite for adventure and freedom, interest in networking and quality nightlife.

Mr Dhlomo and his team have been working with several research groups to analyze the needs of tourists from each target region. The goal for SA is to offer a diversity of packages tailor-made for each target group in order to raise the frequency of visit as well as the average length of stay of each tourist.

Many African countries are realizing their immense tourist potential and are trying to focus on establishing their own target groups and regions which will certainly help improve their marketing and promotion efforts.

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  1. Invisible South Africa

    I work in Tourism and Hospitality, which places my comment in a special category. Working in the U.K. currently, I closely monitor South African Tourism's marketing on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it is virtually invisible and when compared to other countries it is very poor indeed. When contacting SA Tourism on numerous occasions, with offers to work with or for them, my letters were rudely ignored.

    Ulrich Dannecker (United Kingdom)
  2. Invisible South Africa

    As a director and manager of several businesses which are dependent on the tourism industry in South Africa, it infuriates me to read Mr Danneker's comments that South Africa's marketing is "virtually invisible" and that his letters to SA Tourism are ignored.
    Tourism authorities must come up with a unified strategy to market our country properly. If they cannot do it, then lets find someone who can. I wonder if the tourism authorities ever read about the industry they are supposed to be marketing? Do they know how many hotels have closed down in South Africa in the last 6 months? Do they know how many livelihoods depend on them doing their job properly? Answering enquiries quickly and accurately is the least that they could do.

    Bruce Geddes (South Africa)

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