South African Tourism has hired a campaign and partnerships manager to help ensure the trade is benefitting from wide-ranging consumer marketing campaigns.
Rachel Lewis joined the tourism board in the newly-created role from South Australia Tourism Commission, where she was marketing executive.
She said: “I’m here to match up the trade marketing to the consumer marketing. At the moment, they are quite different. We do massive consumer campaigns but they don’t always have the call to action for travel agents, and we want to make sure the trade is benefitting from what’s happening in the consumer space.”
South African Tourism has championed the use of social media ‘influencers’ in its consumer marketing, and while they have always kept up relationships with agents, Lewis said she plans on linking the two routes to market more closely.
She added: “We want to harness the great engagement we are seeing and point people in the direction of their travel agent or tour operator, to spread the love by nurturing the smaller agencies and helping the specialist operators who want to sell South Africa.”
For agencies wanting to find out more, South African Tourism can offer training and resources for agents, marketing spend with independents promoting the country and targeted campaigns with calls to action for the sellers. Lewis said the approach would be tailored to the specific agency based on their requirements.
“Sometimes throwing marketing spend at campaigns isn’t the best long-term solution,” she said. “We want to make sure people are selling South African correctly and help them sell all the different parts of the country.”
With 2018 the year Nelson Mandela would have turned 100, South Africa is hoping to draw on his life story to help encourage tourism to the country.