South Africa seeks China boost with Tencent deal
Tencent has announced a collaboration with South African Tourism’s Beijing office to entice more Chinese tourists into visiting the country.
In 2018, the spend from Chinese tourists in South Africa increased 69 per cent, from R1.4 billion to R2.4 billion.
Annual visitor numbers are now nearly 100,000, while the average length of stay increased from seven to 11 days between 2017 and 2018.
The collaboration will span two years and aims to position South Africa as one of the Chinese travellers’ preferred tourism destinations through digital marketing campaigns on WeChat as well as other platforms within the Tencent ecosystem.
Tencent will also assist South Africa Tourism with a knowledge transfer programme on best practices for destination development, and will advise on how the country can accelerate the implementation of WeChat Pay for visiting Chinese travellers.
Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, minister of tourism, South Africa, was present during the signing of the strategic co-operation agreement and said: “South Africa is open for business and remains an appealing destination for Chinese travellers, offering abundant, diverse, world-class, accredited attractions supported by transport, services and communications infrastructure that competes with the best in the world.
“China is South Africa’s largest trading partner.
“I am pleased that, together with Tencent, South African Tourism China is laying a solid foundation for growth in visitor arrivals from China to South Africa.”
This year, South African Tourism launched its theme for 2019 in the China market, Wild Authentic South Africa, with a goal to make Chinese visitors aware that South Africa is a destination where they can experience land safaris as well as ocean safaris in one convenient destination.
Norman Tam, general manager of Tencent International Business Group, said, “We are excited about collaborating with the South African Tourism Beijing office, further strengthening the relationship between China and South Africa.
“We look forward to supporting South Africa Tourism with our innovative and unique platforms, as well as providing them valuable insight about Chinese consumers in order to enrich their travel experience.”