Published on : Wednesday, October 23, 2019
With a 30% unemployment rate, government officials in South Africa are aiming to double their visitation numbers from now till 2030, setting an ambitious goal.
“The travel trade and travel media are critical” if that goal is to be reached, said Sthembiso Dlamini, acting director, South African Tourism.
Dlamini added, “South Africa is an amazing destination and has an amazing story to tell. Boosting tourism is at the top of the government agenda.”
Officials said that they’re trying to boost visits from Canada.
“We know you don’t want to spend six months of winter underground,” said Dlamani.
Around 68,000 Canadians visited South Africa in 2018. Tourism officials want to boost that to 200,000 by 2030.
Establishing direct flights between Canada and South Africa is a requirement – something that doesn’t exist now. South African Airways and Air Canada are potential partners, but demand needs to be stimulated before the airlines set up new flights.
“We know people like us when they come to visit,” said Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa. “The question is, how do we create that vibe?”
Tshivhengwa said that travelers to South Africa can feel good about visiting and helping improve the nation’s economy.
“We know some countries discourage travel, but we’re not one of those,” Tshivhengwa said.
Right now, the best option for Canadians to visit SA is to fly via London or another European destination, or perhaps Dubai. Another option is to fly direct to Johannesburg from JFK in New York on South African Airways. Delta also operates direct flights from Atlanta to Johannesburg.