South African Tourism (SA Tourism) and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) will visit various cities in North America over the next two weeks to affirm the industry’s commitment to the North American market by gathering valuable insights from valued trade partners to better understand the current market challenges, barriers, and opportunities to achieve greater success together.

The delegation, led by SA Tourism acting CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini, and TBCSA CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, will engage with key travel and media partners in Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, New York and Toronto.

Recently, President Cyril Ramaphosa challenged the South African tourism industry to grow its numbers to 21 million international visitors by 2030.

This is in addition to the 5-in-5 strategic goal that sets the target of an additional four million international visitors and one million domestic holiday trips by 2021.

To achieve these goals, key markets, including Central Europe (Austria, Switzerland and Germany), United Kingdom, North America (USA and Canada), China, India, Australia and Nigeria have been identified for the roadshows:

“As our number two source market for international arrivals, we want to hear directly from the frontline trade professionals in market how we can best work together to achieve more arrivals to South Africa,” commented Dlamini.

“These engagement sessions will certainly go a long way to reconfirming our mutual goals and top selling points while strengthening the relationships built by the SA Tourism North America Hub over the last decade,” added Dlamini.

Last month, the delegation visited the Central Europe and UK markets.

“We listened attentively to what was said at the Central Europe and UK engagement sessions and have already taken the feedback and implemented some of the suggestions,” said Tshivhengwa.

“We recently presented some of the feedback to the President and Minister of Tourism at NEDLAC, and already we are seeing some of the results like the announcement by the Home Affairs Minister on Unabridged Birth Certificates.”

“We will approach the sessions with open ears and look forward to meaningful engagement sessions,” said Tshivhengwa.

The roadshow is a first of its kind with the tourism private and public sector working together on this initiative.

North America (USA and Canada) is a key source market for South Africa accounting for the second highest international arrivals last year and also showing year on year growth over the last few years.