Why SA travel and tourism industry should market themselves right now
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The travel industry needs to market itself, says Mkhuseli Vangile, the managing director of The Dynaste Communications Firm, adding that “now” is the best time for the travel and tourism sector to do that, especially with September being Tourism Month.
"Domestic tourism is helping to soften the hard blow brought by the pandemic and the decrease in the high rate of unemployment. In response to this, the government has taken impressive immediate action to restore and re-activate the sector while protecting jobs and businesses.
"This will now have an effect on people travelling internationally, so they will now opt to do domestic travelling because of the effects of their economic status," he said.
Vangile said the peak travelling period would help to boost the sector.
"With the roll-out of the vaccine in South Africa, coupled with relaxed domestic travel regulations, there is no better time for businesses in the tourism industry to market their services than now.
"According to the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan of August 2020, the sector was estimated to have a potential 75% revenue reduction, possibly putting 438 000 jobs at risk."
He said weather also played a role in travel.
"The type of weather people experience during their desired vacations is assumed to affect how tourist attractions and holidays as a whole are experienced.
"Most people choose to take vacations from September through to March, because it is much warmer during this time of the year.
“Nobody wants to go on a vacation just so they can stay indoors, freezing from the cold and come back home sick."
Vangile said marketing was also important to lure travellers.
"Businesses in the tourism industry should use various affordable means to market their businesses. For the South African tourism market that is trying to sell a domestic product or service, you must be cognisant that your clients are people all over the country - from urban areas to semi-urban areas and rural areas.
“These are some of the few affordable ways that businesses can market their services and products, including public relations and social media marketing."