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Authentic Encounters in South Africa

Das Publikum lauscht den Speakern aus Südafrika

South African Tourism stellte auf der ITB Berlin neue Programme für abwechslungsreiche Reiseerlebnisse vor

In the year that marks the 30th anniversary of South African democracy, tourism in that country continues to expand. To provide returning visitors with authentic travel experiences South African Tourism has developed 1,000 new programmes in association with rural communities and townships. Attention is also being focused on lesser known national parks. The revenue from admission fees is being used to maintain their biodiversity, for the benefit of water and land alike.

After the Covid pandemic had led to a decline in the numbers of visitors, tourism to South Africa is now on the increase. This is apparent from the figures presented at ITB Berlin by Nombulelo Guliwe, CEO of South African Tourism. In 2023 South Africa welcomed 8.5 million tourists, a 48 per cent increase over 2022, 75 per cent of them from Africa, followed by Europeans, in particular the British, Germans and Dutch.

A market analysis by South African Tourism has revealed that returning visitors in particular are keen to discover new highlights and activities. Opportunities to experience nature are particularly sought after, as are authentic encounters. To an increasing extent these take the form of cooperative ventures with rural communities and townships, which are therefore able to profit directly from tourism. They also emphasis the country’s cultural diversity, which has eleven officially recognised languages. The intention is to create 1,000 new programmes for different target groups between 2024 and 2025. This initiative emphasises the country’s sustainable tourism strategy, which is intended to have a positive impact on society, the economy and the environment.

Kaula Nyilenda-Mphaphuli of Sanparks, which manages 21 South African national parks, pointed out that the revenues from the parks are being reinvested in maintaining their biodiversity. They cover an area of four million hectares, which means that returning visitors can always find something new to discover, either on the land or in protected maritime areas. Substantial investments are currently being made in the infrastructure of the national parks, explains Nyilenda-Mphaphuli. Travellers can explore them not only in the traditional way, by Jeep, but also on Segways, kayaks or cable cars.

In closing Nombulelo Guliwe also revealed plans for a new global campaign to promote the brand. South African Tourism will be presenting it at the Africa’s Travel Indaba in May 2024.