From November 19-25, 2018, 21 South African tourism companies visited a number of cities in the Middle East to meet with regional outbound travel professionals and showcase South Africa’s incredible tourism attractions and experiences.
Hosted by South Africa Tourism and titled ‘Learn South Africa Roadshow’, the initiative marked a first for the country’s tourism players, in a never-been-done-before format. The roadshow visited Tehran, Iran; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the UAE; Kuwait City, Kuwait; and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and provided a strategic platform for connections and engagements, briefing sessions and one-to-one meetings.
The Learn South Africa Roadshow forms an integral part of South African Tourism’s mission to achieve its five-in-five strategic goal of attracting four million more international tourist arrivals and one million more domestic holiday trips by 2021.
Regional general manager – Asia, Australasia, Middle East, South African Tourism, Hanneli Slabber explained: “As part of our five-in-five strategy, we are continuously looking for ways to position South Africa as a destination brand and make it recognisable, resilient and attractive to all markets.
“We enjoy a high number of visitors from the region and we have outstanding business and leisure opportunities for the Middle East segment. We consider it a valuable spot for our ‘Learn South Africa’ programme. With a similar time-zone, Halal and Muslim-friendly locations, and potential for more inward tourism from an under-served Middle East market, we are well poised for an even stronger tourism foothold,” Slabber said.
South African Tourism reportedly witnessed an overwhelming response from those wishing to exhibit at the roadshow.
Slabber noted: “It’s really encouraging to see the interest shown by potential exhibitors and going forward we will assess the need to increase exhibitors at future roadshows.”
For the roadshow, South African exhibitors were segmented into categories of provincial tourism authorities, tour operators, accommodation establishments and experience providers.
Provincial Tourism Authorities participating in the mission included Cape Town Tourism and Durban Tourism, while participating tour operators included Africa Incoming LTD, African Pride Tours, African Wildcats Travel, Centurion Tours, Escape to the Cape, ILIOS Travel (Pty) Ltd., Islamic Travels and Tours, Royal African Discoveries, Tamrich Tours (Pty) Ltd., Thompsons Africa, TOP Reizen (TR), Travcare Holidays, Tripos Travel & Tours and Wow Travel & Tours.
Participating accommodation establishments and attraction providers included Aguila Safari Collection, the Kwantu Private Game Reserve, One&Only Cape Town, Tsogo Sun and White Shark Projects.
Following the success of the Middle East roadshow, South African Tourism is hosting yet another roadshow on January 29, 2019, to Turkey, coinciding with its participation at EMITT from January 31 to February 3, 2019.