The Netherlands, as the biggest market out of the north Europe hub for South African Tourism – and the fourth largest market out of Europe – recorded 54 083 arrivals from January to June 2023.
This number is significant as it places the Netherlands at 93% of its 2019 arrivals numbers.
Other markets within this hub are Belgium and Sweden, recording 19 087 and 12 660 arrivals for January to June 2023 respectively.
To further grow tourism, the SA Tourism North Europe hub focused on a key selling point that travellers from the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden place a high priority on sustainability and responsible tourism.
Sustainable travel as a driver for consumers’ travel choices is a key trend out of Europe, with the North Europe region having led this conversation since 2018 when the flight shaming movement out of Sweden was highlighted.
Acting Hub Head: North Europe, Abby Jacobs, said: “The North European Hub focus, based on this trend and insight, is to recognise values-based marketing as a lever to reach consumers driving the sustainable tourism conversation.”
SA Tourism North Europe has therefore launched a Live South Africa! Campaign which focuses on inviting travellers from the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden to recognise that coming to South Africa is a responsible tourism behaviour in itself.
Jacobs pointed out that authentic South African values of inclusivity, Ubuntu and diversity, putting people at the centre, are a central premise of this campaign. These are then linked to the motivation behind what drives responsible tourism choices for North Europe travellers.
Tourism businesses ‘pivotal’
She added: “Tourism businesses are pivotal in showcasing our exceptional experiences that travellers want and, as such, have deliberately been placed at the centre of this campaign.”
South African Tourism North Europe Hub collaborated with six tourism businesses from various provinces across South Africa, both emerging and established businesses, to highlight what responsible tourism means. These businesses were then showcased in a series of videos as part of the campaign launched this week.
The tourism businesses are Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers, Wowzulu, Sani Pass Backpackers, Juma Art Tours, Kwalata Game Lodge and Diemersfontein Wine and Country Estate, highlighting Thokozani wines.
South African Tourism North Europe team has created a ‘tips map’ that focuses on local tips This map is live, and members of the travel trade are encouraged to visit this map and include their additional tips to ensure your product is showcased.
This comes in response to the insights that indicate that travellers from this region want to travel as a local to the destinations they visit.
Jacobs said the launch was one of many phases where the North Europe team would place tourism businesses at the centre of what was showcased to consumers.
“Tourism is a significant contributor to the economy and inclusive growth, these initiatives are a testament of South African Tourism’s deliberate focus on collaboration with trade, promoting diversity initiatives and providing market access for businesses while ramping up demand through media investment leveraging a North Europe campaign,” she said.
Jacobs said more exciting plans to invite and inspire travellers to come to South Africa were under way for the year ahead. These collaboration initiatives and opportunities will be communicated over the next few weeks.
Here are some images from the campaign: