Visitor experience in SA cannot remain static - minister | Fin24

Visitor experience in SA cannot remain static - minister

Apr 21 2019 17:45
Carin Smith

The marketing side of the South African tourism industry is very important and must continuously be improved.

"The visitor experience cannot remain static and stagnant. There is room for lots of improvement," he told Fin24 during a recent interview.

"The visitor experience must constantly improve to remain competitive. It cannot just be about Table Mountain anymore, for instance, but about Table Mountain plus so much more."

He emphasised that SA has a good tourist destination with great products at every level, from backpackers to private game lodges.

"We want people to really want to come to SA. Creating this desire in them must be combined with making it easier for them to come here. This ease of access must include more direct flights," he said.

"There must a a strategy to focus the industry's attention on dealing with all the necessary components, from good marketing to the development of SA as a destination."

In his view, the public and private sector should focus on working together and sharing experiences to enhance the tourist experiences offered in SA.

Safety is another important factor for him. In his view, the tourism safety programme will contribute to addressing this challenge, with people being trained and deployed on hiking trails, for instance. They will also receive training in first aid.

Another challenge he points to is the visa issue. He describes the process of making it easier for tourists to visit SA as "progress having been made, but painfully slowly", especially regarding minors travelling.

He describes progress on issues like e-visas as also "slow and tedious". At the same time, he foresees that it might not be too long before SA will introduce a world-class e-visa.

derek hanekom  |  sa economy  |  tourism


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