The collective driving the ‘South Africa is Travel Ready’ campaign have encouraged industry engagement and collaboration to build on the success it has had so far.

The media campaign focuses on tourism recovery in South Africa following the effects of COVID-19 and resultant travel restrictions and the team behind it are marketing and communication experts who have been volunteering their time since the beginning of June.

Among the volunteers, MD of Big Ambitions and Communications Manager at SATSA, Natalia Rosa, moderated the campaign’s first ‘Tourism Tuesday’ webinar session this week (July 28). The sessions are to become regular events.

Rosa discussed the progress the campaign had already made, with over 200 articles relating to the campaign published in local and international media over the last two months.

She added that the next step was to encourage industry-wide participation to create a unified voice and have “everyone singing off the same hymn sheet”. This includes industry participation in the #IAmTourism movement – which highlights the role of women in the tourism sector, aligning the industry’s priorities with those of government, whose focus is on inclusive growth around women and youth.

Businesses with an interest in supporting the initiative can find a toolkit with social media overlays, usable images and relevant news on the campaign’s website. “This is your opportunity to get behind your women and to make sure that they also have a seat at the table and that their voices are being heard,” said Rosa.

She also encouraged industry to contribute toward the second pillar of the three-phase recovery plan that focuses on reopening domestic and regional travel. “The ‘South Africa is Travel Ready’ messaging in this pillar is all around domestic and regional… Highlighting all the different provincial options, and that’s why we ask for your product news and cool videos that we can share on our Facebook and Instagram.”

The third pillar is the reopening of international travel. “We don’t have a date, we have a risk-adjusted strategy and we need to understand that we have a risk-adjusted strategy but that does not mean that we go quiet in our international markets,” said Rosa.

She encouraged industry to communicate with international markets by telling them what South Africa as a destination is doing to reopen, and what measures are being taken to ensure this is done safely.

Tourist offerings who feel that they are travel-ready are encouraged to open their doors to media who can communicate their experience of hospitality’s health and safety regulations with international markets while lobbying to reopen continues.