With domestic tourism already having contributed 76% of South Africa’s total tourism volume and R20-billion to the economy in 2011, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk on Wednesday unveiled a strategy to grow domestic tourism even further.
Speaking at an event to mark the launch of the South African Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy, in Cape Town, Van Schalkwyk said that the new strategy followed on from the National Tourism Sector Strategy announced in 2011.
In terms of the national strategy, a target had been set to achieve 54-million domestic trips by 2020 and required domestic tourism to account for 60% of the sector’s overall contribution to GDP.
“This strategy aims to increase domestic tourism revenue, to increase domestic tourism volumes, enhance measures and efforts aimed at addressing seasonality, promote an equitable geographic spread, but also to entrench a culture of tourism among all South Africans.”
Presenting the 2011 domestic tourism statistics, Van Schalkwyk said that 13.9-million adult South Africans travelled in 2011, which was an increase of 3% from 2010. The new strategy target would be to increase this number to 18-million by 2020.
The average spend per domestic trip also increased from R710 in 2010 to R780 in 2011. However the total number of domestic trips taken dropped from 29.7-million in 2010 to 26.4-million in 2011, though this decrease could be attributed in the most part to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
As part of the Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy, the SA Tourism domestic marketing campaign, Vaya Mzansi, was also launched at the same event. This campaign would be a vehicle of the growth strategy and specifically targeted increasing domestic tourism among five consumer segments; these being: “spontaneous budget explorers” who are generally young and impulsively go for short breaks away with friends; “new-horizon families” who are typically professionals older than 35 who go on holiday to reward themselves for hard work; “high-life enthusiasts” who are successful individuals who travel to boost their social status and seek out luxury destinations; “seasoned leisure travellers” who fall into the 25 to 45 year age range and have a culture of travel; “well-to-do Mzansi families” who use travel to escape the stress of city living.
The domestic marketing campaign would not only be an advertising campaign, but would also include suggestions of events and activities, recommendations of destinations from South Africans themselves, and holiday packages. The campaign and strategy would require closer working relationships between the Tourism Ministry, SA Tourism and industry stakeholders, including travel agents, airlines and hotel groups.
Van Schalkwyk said the new Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy and campaign had taken into account that consumers were increasingly cautious about how they spent their money and said that the sector intended to offer “exceptional value” to address this.
“Our message about the benefits of domestic tourism is relevant to all South Africans. The beauty of this message is its simplicity: go out there and enjoy in your own backyard what millions of the people over the world dream of experiencing,” said Van Schalkwyk.