SOUTH AFRICA'S SUCCESSFUL PARTICIPATION AT BMT- INTERNATIONAL TOURISM FAIR
The South African Embassy in Rome, Italy participated at the largest Centre-South business-to-business tourism fair from 5-7 April 2013 in Naples; the Borsa Mediterranea del Turismo. The fair is a three-day event, which attracted 450 exhibitors, approximately 250 foreign buyers, and 20 000 thousand visitors. Supported by two of Italy’s largest tourism associations, Astoi Federviaggio and Confindustria, the fair encouraged the participation of new tour operators under the umbrella of these associations. It also awarded the opportunity for the presence of new source markets of demand from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Brazil and new areas dedicated to the GLBT community, training, travel agents and social tourism.
To continue promoting South Africa, which features as part of tourism packages for several tour operators, the Embassy had a stand and partnered up with South African Airways and the following Italian-based tour operators:
• Graffiti sotto la Lente, based in Rome;
• Mappamondo, based in Rome;
• Azalai Vaggi and Esplorazioni based in Florence; and
• Yebo Tour Operator based in Perugia
According to South African Tourism, South Africa is the adventure capital of the world, offering visitors scenic beauty, magnificent outdoors, sunny climate, and cultural diversity -- all of which have made it a popular leisure travel destination. Tourism has been identified as one of the six priority sectors in South Africa to achieve economic growth and attract investment. It is also a sector nationally that has managed to grow jobs (half a million and rising) while increasing its contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). Through tourism South Africa has identified the following targets: to attract 15 million arrivals by 2020; to increase the share of tourism in gross domestic product from R189,4 billion in 2009 to R499 billion in 2020, and to create more than 225 000 new jobs in tourism. Our overseas arrivals (all international arrivals excluding Africa) grew at four times the world average – 16% from January to November 2012 with over 8.3 million tourist arrivals to South Africa. Indeed South Africa continues to entrench its status as a major international tourist and business events destination.
Events such as the BMT allows for word-of-mouth promotion, which remains one of the best means of communication in marketing South Africa to the public. This was evident by the amount of tour agencies and consumers as well as potential Embassy and tour operator partners who visited the stand.
The fusion of unspoiled nature, culture, and tradition moulding itself with a modern lifestyle, South Africa is where luxury, adventure and business meet. All this is found in a vibrant and welcoming environment that expresses the true spirit of Africa. It is a journey which inspires new ways.
SA Embassy Italy, Rome