SA Tourism has entered into joint marketing with tour operators in Nordic countries and will ramp up its digital presence to grow arrivals from this market.

The Nordic markets currently sit under a ‘watchlist’ market in SA Tourism’s hub model of operations. “We rely heavily on South African missions abroad to be our ears on the ground in these markets as we do not have physical presence,” says Chief Marketing Officer, Margie Whitehouse.

“In 2015/16 we concluded Joint Marketing Agreements (JMAs) with tour operators Lime Travel and Albatros. As an organisation we also had a JMA in place with Syd Afrika Resor where we relied on this partnership to amplify South Africa as a tourist destination.

“South African Tourism will be investing in a stronger digital presence from a brand perspective in the Nordics market this year, and is in the process of reviewing which platforms would provide the highest ROI.

“In 2016/17 we will also be partnering with Destination Africa to facilitate educationals on South Africa in the Nordics. The aim is to educate the trade on the destination, equip them in selling it better, and ensure that there is a better provincial distribution of products including new hidden gems,” says Whitehouse.

“This year, South African Tourism attended the Africa showcase roadshow that took place in March. This provided a better understanding of the trade landscape, and we are planning to attend again next year with the goal of identifying additional partners we can work with to bring arrivals to South Africa from the region. We also hosted 12 trade and media partners (selected in collaboration with South African embassies based in Sweden and Denmark) in March to expose them to the destination.

“From a global brand exposure perspective, the Nordics also benefit from global media buy the organisation utilises.”