From Travel Weekly.
South African tourism is using U.S. celebrities and prime-time TV exposure to promote a new marketing campaign that touts South African culture, art and scenery beyond safaris.
Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk got a little help from Donald Trump and Paul Simon when he came to New York in April.
He appeared on NBC’s hit series, “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice”April 21, encouraging consumers and travel sellers to look at South Africa’s art, music and culinary scenes.
South African Tourism presented Paul Simon the Friend of South Africa award for his contribution to the anti-apartheid movement with the 1986 album, “Graceland.”
The tourism minister was interviewed by Soledad O’Brien, saying he did not want South Africa to back off its important safari market but hoped travelers would experience more of the country.
The new marketing campaign, “What’s Your Big 5?” expands on the reference to Africa’s big five game favorites: elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo.
The new campaign encompasses scenery like the Garden Route outside Knysna, the penguin colony at Boulders Beach in Cape Town and the Sudwala Caves in Mpumalanga, according to an article in Travel Agent Central.
It encompasses destinations such as Johannesburg’s Rosebank Rooftop Market, which sells crafts from all over South Africa; Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town, preserved to honor its famous former inmate, Nelson Mandela, or a treehouse lodge where you can sleep under the stars in KwaZulu Natal.
South African Tourism had a banner year in 2012, with a 10.2 percent jump in international tourists, according to Travel Weekly.
Europe is South Africa’s highest source of overseas tourists, the report says. The U.S., its second-largest overseas tourism market, contributed 326,643 tourists in 2012, up 13.6 percent over 2011, according to the report.
By 2020, South Africa hopes to be among the 20 most visited destinations in the world, van Schalkwyk said.
Read more at Travel Weekly.