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In her view, it is a good indicator that more focused and aggressive marketing strategies in these regions will yield positive results.
Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), told Fin24 on Thursday that the organisation, which represents the private sector, has already met with the minister about the impact of safety and security concerns.
“The latest numbers reflect what we have been cautioning about since last year, namely that forward bookings are down, despite some markets remaining resilient. We will respond to return confidence in the market,” he said.
“Now it is time for the public and private sector to get together to achieve our goals of growing the tourism industry. We now know where the cracks are – like safety and security – and we have to now move with speed. The TBCSA is always ready to get to work.”
Further more, her department is engaging with local stakeholders like airlines to see how joint marketing strategies could possibly lead to better results.
According to Tshivhengwa, SA’s tourism marketing must be purposeful to fix brand issues. In his view, the recent scrapping of the requirement of unabridged birth certificates for foreign minors arriving in SA, will have a positive impact to repair the country’s image as a family market.
Kubayi-Ngubane indicated that her department, along with other stakeholders, will at the beginning of December announce a Tourism Safety Strategy and the implementation of plans as a response to the concerns raised by key markets.
“We realise that, as we work towards this target, we might experience some fluctuations, but we will ensure that the overall trajectory remains positive.”
Christelle Grohmann, director of the tourism specialist unit at professional services firm BDO, recently told Fin24 that Ramaphosa’s tourism target is double the number of tourists SA had at the beginning of the year and equates to a 6% compound growth.