South African Tourism and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa North American roadshow got off to a good start during the first leg in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

It was attended by 18 leading travel partners from the West Coast region of the USA, and the feedback the South African delegation received was positive.

The travel partners were apprised of South Africa’s tourism targets, set by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has challenged the tourism industry in South Africa to work toward 21 million international arrivals by 2030.

The North American market is the second biggest source market, with around 377 000 arrivals recorded from the USA in 2018.

During the engagement sessions, the target of one million USA arrivals by 2030 was discussed, with the trade partners feeling confident that this could be achieved.

“South Africa has all the hallmarks of an amazing destination. It has something for everyone,” commented Sherwin Banda, President of African Travel Inc.

“When we look at US travel going to Africa, almost 50% of US travellers from the United States to Africa have identified South Africa as their destination of choice. So South Africa has really great potential to grow business in this market with some really quick wins,” he added.

Banda’s sentiments were echoed by Karin Jones, MD of Anastasia’s Africa, who also called for greater collaboration and continuity between the US trade and SA Tourism.

“I think it’s connecting us all through an advisory council or some sort of continuing workflow to speak together about what these initiatives need to be and it is putting money behind marketing, money behind airlift to the destination, money behind the safety measures that we all talking about, so that the message is to send more people to the destination,” she added.

The second leg of the North American Roadshow took place in Denver on Friday, October 18.