The United States, Indonesia and Europe have proved to be strong markets for some companies promoting South Africa.
Angela Iacovazzo, head of global sales and product development for Touchdown DMC, says the three regions have proved to be particularly keen on visiting South Africa.
She says there is a growing trend of clients who enjoy the combination of larger commercial hotels and quaint towns and hotels. “Those hidden gems of our country. We use a combination of suppliers, always looking to combine experiences and to continually support new local businesses to create varied experiences.”
One of Touchdown DMC’s more popular tours with Europeans is the Safari Panorama route, says Iacovazzo.
“Our tour begins with a stop in Dullstroom – a great town and stopping place between destinations.” Guests can spend two nights in Dullstroom at the Dunkeld Country Estate, which has a restaurant, spa and horse-riding facilities and various other activities to choose from. “It’s a great place to relax, but for our more active travellers we can arrange golfing excursions or fly-fishing. Dullstroom is the fly-fishing mecca of South Africa, after all,” adds Iacovazzo. European travellers particularly enjoy Dullstroom’s strong Dutch link and the fact that the town dates back to 1883, she says.
From there, the group embark on a scenic drive on the Panorama Route and God’s Window before reaching safari destinations, where guests can choose from a variety of bush experiences. “We also have a number of clients who want a bush walking experience that is predator free, and in those instances Humala in the Songimvelo Game Reserve in Mpumalanga is included in the tour,” says Iacovazzo. “The game there is prolific, and due to the lack of predators, the animals come very close to the camp and it makes for a very intimate experience.”
While Touchdown DMC’s European market prefers exploring South Africa’s small towns and local culture, the American market, which shows year-on-year growth, appears to prefer tours that explore the country’s rich history.
When it comes to its Asia Pacific/Indonesian market, however, Iacovazzo says while there has been growth, it is a price-sensitive market. Touchdown DMC works to accommodate Indonesia’s Muslim travellers by offering halaal tours. She says tours are customised to include iconic Islamic sites. “In the Asia Pacific market we are seeing growth in a series of tours that encompass key action-packed offerings in South Africa.”