Adventure tourism has been identified as a growth market for tourism to South Africa. Tessa Reed spoke to SA Tourism to find out how the body is marketing SA in this competitive segment.

South African Tourism has identified six experience pillars around which it is focussing its marketing efforts to position South Africa as “a destination like no other” as it seeks to grow adventure tourism.

The experience pillars are: City Lifestyle; Coastal Beach; Cultural Roots; Scenic Outdoors; Wildlife Safari and Active Adventure.

According to SA Tourism, adventure tourism in South Africa is a thriving market that is seeing growth. The body cites an increase in visitors highlighting adventure as an activity they embarked on while in South Africa. - 9.1% in 2018 when compared to 8.0% in 2017

“Our research informs us that in 2018, the top three markets where adventure as an activity ranked high include: Germany (16.2%); UK (13.9%) and US (12.9%),” an SA Tourism spokesperson told Tourism Update.

The body highlight’s South Africa’s wide scope of adventure activities that position it as a leading adventure tourism destination.  These include bungee jumping off the world’s highest bridge swing; hot air ballooning over the Magaliesberg mountains; paragliding off Table Mountain; abseiling one of the world’s largest green canyon in Blyde River; and many more.

Partnerships with the local trade are essential to grow this sector, says SA Tourism. “We believe that partnerships with the local trade are vital,” says SA Tourism. “Partnership are at the centre of the work that we do in promoting South Africa.

“As such there are various platforms that we use in showcasing and promoting SA together with tourism trade members. These include co-operating with them when hosting familiarisation trips with both media and trade as well as working with them in developing deal-driven campaigns.”

SA Tourism uses the example its Sho’t Left Travel Week as an example of one such deal-driven campaign, although it is targeted at the domestic market. “While this campaign does not promote adventure tourism experiences specifically, those are still included in the discounted experiences on offer.”