South Africa has almost doubled its marketing budget for African markets, from R30 million in the present financial year to R55 million, in the next financial year, said newly appointed South African Tourism CEO Thandiwe January_Mclean, during her first face_to_face meeting with the press since starting her job last month.
January_Mclean also said that marketing investments for Asian markets _ China and India in particular, which grew by 10% and 18% respectively in 2009 _ will increase by 20% and 50%, respectively, in the next financial year.
It is believed that the country has made this bold move due to the increase of arrivals from Africa and Asia in the past year or so.
January_Mclean said: â€œArrivals from African countries were growing and offering a lucrative source of income for the SA tourism industry.â€
She singled out Angola, whose visitors she said spend more money (R24 000 per visitor on average) than any other visitor from any other market in the world. Recent statistics have shown that arrivals from Angola grew almost by 12% growth for the period January to October 2009.
January Mclean added, â€œNigeria is also very important to us, and we are working hard to establish a base there that will serve the whole region.â€
It is believed that the newly_appointed CEO has been meeting with the Department of Home Affairs to iron issues around Africaâ€™s visas problems and the way African tourists are being ill-treated at ports of entry.
She admitted that meetings with various stakeholders _ private and public _ are also taking place to ensure inclusiveness .
and understand the industryâ€™s visions and ambitions.
She said the 2010 FIFA World Cup will extend and challenge the industry and leave a legacy that will serve the nation well into the future.