In 2017, South African Tourism invested more than ever in UK and Irish travel trade activities to promote South Africa as the ultimate holiday destination through training events, roadshows, workshops and familiarisation trips.
As a result of the tourism body’s travel trade programme in 2017, 900 travel agents were trained on the destination in eight cities across the UK and Ireland, with 36 agents hosted in South Africa on six separate FAM trips, visiting holidaymaker favourites of Cape Town, the Garden Route, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
A 2017 highlight was the third year of SATSchool from 13 – 16 November, a ‘one-stop shop’ training platform aimed at equipping travel agents with the information they need to sell the destination – from the unique selling points, the latest news, and how to answer customer questions.
The roadshow took place in Cork, Manchester, Birmingham and London, with key partners including British Airways, local area tourist organisations such as Cape Town Tourism, Visit Knysna, Eastern Cape Tourism, and attractions and experiences such as Ocean Blue Adventures and Monkeyland / Birds of Eden.
Tolene Van der Merwe, hub head UK & Ireland for South African Tourism, said:
“The UK and Ireland are key markets for South Africa; the UK being our number one source of international arrivals and Ireland representing a fantastic opportunity for growth.
“Following an incredibly successful year in 2017, we’ll be continuing to work closely with members of the UK and Irish travel trade through training workshops, takeover days, familiarisation trips and running our fourth year of SATSchool to help us achieve our over-arching global goal of attracting five million more tourists to South Africa within the next five years.”
South African Tourism’s travel trade strategy for 2018 will include an increased presence within the UK and Ireland, focused on the return of SATSchool in November 2018, further training events, roadshows, workshops and hosted agent FAM trips in the destination.
Details will be announced throughout the year.
The tourist board will also be launching trade-specific social media channels to provide an instant source of information and communication exclusively to its trade partners.