There has been a high demand for South Africa at Vakantiebeurs 2023 following the incredible success of the 360° localised LIVE AGAIN rolled out for North Europe in 2022. The residual awareness of this campaign allowed South Africa to be top of mind for Dutch consumers and trade, a message continuously reiterated over the five days at the show.
South African Tourism North Europe, servicing the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden have kicked off 2023 with a South African pavilion at Vakantiebeurs. Vakantiebeurs attracted over 65 000 consumers over the course of the four consumer days and over 8 000 travel trade on the trade day.
Six South African products joined the South African Tourism pavilion, inclusive of two provinces, namely WESGRO and Tourism Kwa-Zulu Natal and two SMMEs – Travel for Change and Royal Thonga Lodge. Other South African product present on the pavilion were Aquila Safaris and Cape Recife Lighthouse and Bellevue Nature Reserve.
South African Tourism North Europe focused on creating excitement at the South African pavilion for South African product and partners by inviting long-time B2B trade partner, Africa Feeling to host their famous high tea on the trade day, and this attracted 30 travel agents to the pavilion. The trade day also saw key partners and trade visiting the pavilion throughout the day for pre – set meetings as well as over 100 people to the late afternoon networking event. This event allowed for a much-needed in-person networking opportunity to share positive stories on how the recovery of the industry has been going.
Vakantiebeurs and South African Tourism’s presence came at an opportune time, off the back of a very successful 2022 for partners, validated by strong arrival statistics.
The Netherlands recorded 10 374 for November 2022, bringing the total arrivals for January to November 2022 to 79 489 – a 373,6% increase when compared to arrivals over the same period in 2021. This now positions the Netherlands as the third largest source market out of Europe, preceded by the UK and Germany. This is significant as it reflects positive traction for the demand creation work that has been done in market through the localised LIVE AGAIN campaign that encouraged travellers to explore South Africa’s “lekker local tips”.
This campaign was launched in March 2022 and allowed for the opportunity to experience South Africa through the eyes of locals who use their “lekker local tips” to highlight the beautiful parts of the country.
The North Europe hub also boasts exciting plans for the year ahead, communicating a stronger focus on responsible tourism, a deliberate focus on collaboration with trade, diversity initiatives and market access while ramping up demand through media investment leveraging a localised global campaign to inspire travellers to come to South Africa.