South African Tourism bosses have pledged to host more travel agent fam trips in 2024 as they look to improve knowledge and understanding of the country.
Speaking at World Travel Market, acting chief executive Nombulelo Guliwe said bringing frontline travel sellers to the country remained a key focus, alongside trade roadshows and training.
South Africa welcomed just over 250,000 UK visitors in the nine months to September, up 35% on 2022 but still 18% down on pre-pandemic levels.
Guliwe said airlift and high airfares remained key barriers, despite South Africa offering excellent value for money while in the destination.
However, she said she was hopeful South African Airways would reinstate European routes after restarting long-haul flights for the first time since the pandemic last week.
And she also urged the trade to utilise connecting routes with Middle Eastern carriers to secure sales.
She said: “The data we are seeing suggests a price adjustment in 2025 and we hope that will contribute to positive growth. The national airline’s return to intercontinental routes is also welcome and we remain in constant engagement with other airlines about increasing services.”
Guliwe said the tourist board continued to focus on encouraging travel beyond the “big hits” such as Cape Town and Table Mountain, and also promoting travel in the low-season when prices could be more attractive.
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