Travel Trade Fridays, launched this month by the Brand Experience Team at South African Tourism, is inviting the trade to share their unique product and service offerings to be considered for inclusion in tailor-made itineraries catering for specific international markets.

Overseeing the Brand Experience Team is Darryl Erasmus, Chief Quality Assurance Officer at SA Tourism.

Talking to Tourism Update, Erasmus says the team’s function is to partner and work with the larger trade, from tour operators to attractions, hospitality properties, as well as activities, using insights gained to cater for relevant international markets. The team take into consideration what particular markets like, need, want and what entices that specific market to visit the destination.

The team works closely with SA Tourism’s global country offices, creating and providing itineraries, and further taking these insights into account to best expose SA’s offerings to these specific markets.

Key to the initiative is showcasing the diversity of South Africa, supporting and driving transformation whilst ensuring geographic spread. “Transformation is a key deliverable for us, as we are looking to source and partner with new, unique and emerging businesses.

“We want to encourage all partners in the tourism sphere to participate!  If you believe you have a unique product or have recently updated your offering, we want to hear from you.  This will allow us to package our diversity, support geographical spread, and include transformation within these itineraries.” adds Erasmus.

Travel Trade Fridays, which will typically commence at 09h00, will take place on the last Friday of every month, commencing on August 31. Erasmus says the team are inviting members from the tourism industry to book a slot and share updates relating to their product or services.

Travel Trade Fridays provides a platform for SA Tourism to engage and interact with the trade in a more intimate setting, providing participants with the opportunity to converse with important players from the destination marketing organisation.

Erasmus says his team are well versed and in many cases familiar with offerings in the tourism space, however they are hoping to further build relationships with tourism players while being kept abreast of all new developments taking place across SA.

According to Erasmus, the aim of Travel Trade Fridays is to ensure SA Tourism owns its space as the authority on all new products, services, experiences, activities, hospitality establishments and developments, within the tourism space. “We want to really own our role as the ‘go to’ tourism people. If you are looking for ideas on what to do, where to go, SA Tourism is to be the knowledgeable industry partner and authority,” he says. “That will enhance our ability to use experiential marketing initiatives to position SA more effectively, and successfully show off our hidden gems and unique experiences, whilst inviting more and more of our partners.”

Using the Dutch market as an example, Erasmus says his team, through their access to market insights, analytics and research at hand, determine what SA offerings best suits the Dutch traveller, and what they are most attracted to when planning and visiting the country. The Brand Experience Team will then create an itinerary around these insights, hosting delegations and showing all the country has on offer.

Erasmus emphasises that space is limited, therefore reserving your slot is imperative.  “An email, sent in advance to the team, indicating your intention to participate, should secure you a slot at our Travel Trade Fridays.”

For more information, or to book a slot with the Brand Experience Team, email: brandexperience@southafrica.net.