TOURISM Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on October 12 unveiled Destination South Africa’s Global Advocacy Programme to ramp up advocacy efforts in key source markets around the world.
The programme was initiated by the Department of Tourism, South African Tourism and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA).
It forms part of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, which was recently adopted by national government and the tourism sector.
“We are going to embark on a strategic yet direct approach to our markets to ensure that consumers, trade partners and the global media are truthfully informed about the memorable and affordable, easy accessibility and safety factors that come with travelling to South Africa in this Covid-19 environment,” said Sisulu.
She stated that the department had dealt with various missions and embassies in working behind the scenes to get South Africa off of other countries’ travel red lists and travel advisories, which had shut the country out of the world, and vice-versa.
“We have learnt quite a bit over the last few weeks as we dealt with various missions and embassies in working behind the scenes to get South Africa off the red lists and travel advisories, which has shut us out of the world, and the world from us,” said Sisulu.
“It’s these learnings, along with contributions from the sector, that we will take into this important advocacy programme to lead the reshaping of the South African narrative to a positive and welcoming one and increase our arrivals from tourists, both for leisure and business events. To this end, we anticipate some early shoots ahead of our festive season,” Sisulu commented.
TBCSA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa said South Africa’s inbound tourism recovery was dependent on the attractiveness of the country’s brand as a tourist destination.
He added that the Global Advocacy Programme would help to rebuild the country’s brand and, ultimately, attract more tourists to visit the country.
“The recovery and re-imagination of tourism in South Africa will benefit with the successful implementation of this programme globally. The TBCSA fully supports the advocacy programme as a catalyst for tourism recovery,” he noted.
The Brave Group has been appointed as the partnering agency to work with the Department of Tourism, SA Tourism and the TBCSA in executing the advocacy programme across key source markets over the next three years.
They will be working with specialist agencies, MMGY Global and Africa Desk, to build positive brand affinity for South Africa with the international leisure travel and business community.