The opening day of South Africa’s participation at this year’s World Travel Market London saw great interest by the tourism industry in the destination.
Returning to WTM after a two-year hiatus, the delegation of South Africa was made up of twenty-five exhibitors comprising key members of the travel trade as well as an impressive SMMEs presence at ExCel London.
A very busy south African stand on an opening day was a testament to people’s quest to live again.
Describing the return of the destination to the WTM Platform as vibrant and huge market interests, the Chief Operating Officer of SAT Nomasonto Ndlovu said, South Africa is open for business and the participation at the expo was an opportunity to scale up the “Live Again” campaign which is to inspire and give travellers to Msanzi a transformative experience.
‘’South African tourism is excited by the fact that there’s been a huge interest in the destination. Our stand and exhibitors are so busy and their diaries are full, which tells us that, there’s huge interest in South Africa as a travel destination and it also gives us confidence that, we’ll be able to recover from Covid.’’
She added that “for us being here is, is to really bring a message to this market that South Africa is open for the tourism business. South Africa is open for trade to bring tourism back into the country.”
Speaking on the country’s global campaign, “Live Again”, the leader of the SA delegation to the exhibition said, they are also excited about the fact that since launching the initiative March this year, there have been some positive outcomes.
‘’This campaign is called Live Again, and the essence of the campaign is about encouraging the world to come to South Africa and live again. Because we believe that our destination inspires, transforms and it’ll give travelers a transformative experience. Put our people through our wide-open spaces, the experiences, which is a varied and diverse experience.”
She continued ‘’So for us, we are thinking that the campaign is very good. It’s been going very well. Now, there’s an opportunity to take it to the next level. And that is why we’re here because this is where business is being signed now.”
Sonto intimated that so far, they have recognized that one of the critical things that, “we are picking up from the trade is that consumers are looking for value for money, which is exactly what South Africa offers. They’re looking for, holidays, but we also know that the economic situation has not been great all over the world, and so therefore it is even a good opportunity for them if they’re looking to travel to South Africa because the Pound
goes a lot far.”
The South African stand at WTM London consists of 25 exhibitors including five SMMEs and Sonto believes their presence at the travel show is crucial.
“It’s very important to give them the opportunity to also be on the world stage. We have a strategy to make sure that our SMMEs can also get market access. So it’s something that is deliberate, it is a strategy and we want to continue bringing more of them to international shows,” she emphasized.