SA Tourism and the TBCSA have come together to launch the Tourism Advocacy Programme, a global PR communications initiative that will form part of the ‘Tourism Road To Recovery Plan’.

In a statement made last week, SA Tourism and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) announced that they have joined forces to reposition South Africa as a safe destination and dispel negative perceptions associated with the country. This will be done under the Tourism Advocacy Programme under the ‘Tourism Road To Recovery Plan’ that is being driven by the tourism sector and supported by the national government.

“South Africa, like many other countries, is seeking ways to rebuild its tourism sector and economic contribution… It is for this reason that South African Tourism is taking this as a unique opportunity to reposition South Africa (the brand) to the rest of the world by developing and implementing a global advocacy programme to re-ignite the South African brand, particularly at the back of the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the inaccurate labelling of the B.1.351 variant,” notes Sthembiso Dlamini, SA Tourism’s acting CEO.

The current negative perception of travel to South Africa has adversely impacted the tourism sector, with the country being banned by numerous countries and its citizens still not able to travel to many global destinations.

Areas of focus
The Tourism Advocacy Programme will focus on four main areas:

  1. Identify causal issues for adverse travel within source markets;
  2. Address issues around South Africa Inc. messaging;
  3. Critically assess the dynamics of a supply-side visitor experience to leverage positivity, and lastly;
  4. Providing market access for experiences and products, especially those that are new
“The persisting negative global narrative in the Red List casts SA in a negative light in terms of how the country is handling the pandemic, and this has a negative effect on tourism attractiveness. This partnership between TBCSA and SA Tourism and the consequent global advocacy programme will assist in cementing the tourism recovery plan and will, as a result, revive the tourism sector,” says Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, TBCSA CEO.

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