South African Tourism is focusing on encouraging 'young wanderlusters' to consider South Africa as a holiday destination and is urging agents to jump on the bandwagon by highlighting a variety of attractions and experiences that will appeal to people in their late 20s and early 30s.
One of these experiences is Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset showcasing the best of the destination. Experiences being highlighted include abseiling on Table Mountain in Cape Town, elephant feeding and shark cage diving, and the product will be rolled out to consumers next year as part of the tourist office's marketing campaign.
Alongside highlighting the value for money that South Africa offers, agents are being encouraged to familiarise themselves with the destination's other experiences to appeal to younger clientele such as art, food and wine, nature and adventure - concepts that people don't typically associate with South Africa, according to the tourist board's general manager of international marketing, Monika Iuel.
She said: "Historically, these 'young waderlusters' might have thought of South Africa as a bit boring or a destination which only offers safaris. Our objective is to get them to reconsider the destination, and marketing projects such as Oculus Rift will help by highlighting the plethora of things to do and little-known places to visit that people hadn't previously considered. An example is the Maboneng Precinct, a vibrant urban neighbourhood on the east side of Johannesburg CBD which is a great location for art and culture fans."
The tourist office, which reports a 1.5% increase in UK visitors year-on-year and more than 50% in repeat visitors, believes that it is imperative to support agents in helping sell the destination. As such, it has announced plans to boost the number of fam trips it will offer in 2015. Another new development is the South Africa Specialist (SAS) project, an online travel training programme for agents which will be launched early next year.
The programme will showcase the diversity of experiences on offer in South Africa and the ease of travel in the destination, and will also offer modules on individual provinces. Agents can dip in and out of the modules and can gain South Africa specialist status by taking and passing an online exam.