Book to help SA tourism industry

Friday, August 14, 2009

Johannesburg - A Brand Messaging Book for Tourism was launched on Thursday to help everyone who comes into contact with visitors to share an inspirational message about the country as a tourism destination.

Speaking at the launch of the book, Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk said the publication was both inspirational and practical and would give communicators the tools they need to become confident brand ambassadors for South Africa. 

"This book is published for anyone who travels widely, who works in tourism or who frequently comes into contact with visitors to our country.

"It will give all of us common ground around which to talk about our country as a destination and from which to deliver a strong brand promise to the world," the minister said.

Describing South Africa, the minister said it was a vast, diverse, captivating and enthralling place. 

"Our country is a player in an exceptionally competitive global industry where travelers are determined to experience new, different, engaging, exciting and rewarding places and people," the minister said.

South Africa is the adventure capital of the world, offering visitors scenic beauty, magnificent outdoors, sunny climate, and cultural diversity - all of which have made it a popular leisure travel destination.

Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of South Africa's economy. Directly and indirectly, tourism constitutes about 7 percent of employment in South Africa.

The book details key destination messages for each core target market including consumers, the global travel trade, business tourists and tourists seeking to visit South Africa for a big event.

"The book will equip us with everything from inspirational stories, anecdotes and recipes to facts and figures to communicate the true essence of South Africa. 

"A strong brand is a vital component in our global competitiveness and a key ingredient in growing arrivals to our shores. We strive to do this in order to build a better and stronger tourism industry which will in turn put more roofs over more South African heads and more food in more South African mouths," the minister said.

Chief Operating Officer and acting Chief Executive Officer at South African Tourism, Didi Moyle, said the brand book arms communicators with the facts. 

"And it gives them ideas. It's a beautiful production with striking photographs of a wonderful and unique country. We are very proud of it."

The brand book also helps to manage the negative perceptions and realities that are pervasive about the destination. 

It arms people with practical messaging for when they are, for example, confronted with difficult questions about safety and security, malaria and visa issues for visitors. 

To get a copy of the limited Brand Messaging Book, the public can email