South Africa signs deal with Tencent to boost Chinese tourists , and invest in WeChat Marketing to attract more Chinese independant travelers with high income. 

South Africa along with other African countries has become a popular overseas travelling destination for Chinese tourists, driven by their increasing spending power and demand for in-depth travel experiences. The huge uptake of such a tendency to travel is attributed to demonstration effect.

 

Most people just follow what others do, or the unique experience that others have felt. 

youth Africa has signed a two-year agreement with Chinese Internet firm Tencent , which will use its popular WeChat platform to market tourism to millions in China, the South African tourism minister said on Tuesday. source

Tencent will assist SA Tourism with a knowledge transfer programme on best practices for destination development, and will advise SA Tourism on how South Africa can accelerate the implementation of WeChat Pay for Chinese travellers visiting South Africa. Tencent WeChat will also advise SA Tourism on best practices in Chinese visitor experience by making use of QR codes. 

What is WeChat Here 

South Africa is targeting key untapped tourist markets such as China and India as it promotes tourism as a catalyst to help kick-start its struggling economy.

 

9% of the GDP

Travel and tourism contributed around 426 billion rand ($29 billion), just under 9 percent of GDP, to South Africa’s economy in 2018, making it the largest tourism market on the continent, the World Travel and Tourism Council says. 

 

Strategic collaboration

“This strategic co-operation agreement is one of many initiatives developed to increase arrivals from China to South Africa,” Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said
in a statement. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa re-affirmed the tourism sector as being crucial for the future of South Africa, with the country aiming to double international tourist arrivals from 10.5m to 21m by 2030, and Chinese travellers are expected to make up a significant proportion of that. source 

 

In 2018, Chinese tourist spending in South Africa increased 69% from R1.4bn to R2.4bn.

Annual visitor numbers have almost hit 100,000 and length of stay has increased by four days (from 7 to 11 days) from 2017 to 2018.

“South Africa is open for business and remains an appealing destination for Chinese travellers. 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 strategic co- operation agreement is one of many initiatives developed by the South African Tourism office in China to increase Chinese arrivals to South Africa. I am pleased to see progress being made through our collective efforts to get South Africa China-ready.” Added Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane Pristine white beaches, legendary Table Mountain and safari tours to see big game animals make South Africa a popular tourist attraction with millions of mainly European visitors each year.

If you want to promote on WeChat here is the guide

The luxury experience

“We would like to provide more luxurious experiences for middle class Chinese tourists, and promote more of our authentic culture, adventurous features and human centred experiences
to cater for their increasingly diversified demand,” said Mansoor Mohammed, chief Asia representative of South Africa Tourism.

Norman Tam, general manager of Tencent International Business Group (IBG), said, “We look forward to supporting SA Tourism with our innovative and unique platforms, as well as providing them valuable insight about Chinese consumers in order to enrich their travel experience.” This year, South African Tourism launched its 2019 theme in the China market, Wild
Authentic South Africa, with a goal of raising awareness of South Africa as an appealing destination to experience land and ocean safaris.

The collaboration will span over two years and aims to position South Africa as one of Chinese travellers’ preferred tourism destinations through digital marketing campaigns on WeChat and other platforms within the Tencent ecosystem.

There are some few things however that SouthAfrica has to do in preparation for the Chinese visitors.

The tourism market did receive the news of the lucrative deal well, though, according to Gillian Saunders, an independent tourism adviser, who was quoted in Tourism Update.

Saunders admitted that the deal was, at the very least, a step in the right direction. 

 

China is the largest outbound Travel Market in the world

“China is the biggest outbound market in the world, growing faster than most, and they are the big spenders,” she said. However, a lot of groundwork needs to be done before SA Tourism can really benefit from attracting the attention of Chinese travellers.

Saunders noted that, before South Africa can be China-ready, there are a few things that need to be ticked off the checklist, the three most important being:
Rolling out mobile paying systems While South Africa enjoys a number of different — and safe — payment systems, the country has yet to catch up with the advanced world in utilising mobile apps for transactions.

WeChat Pay

The SA-Tencent deal will most likely allow Chinese travellers to use WeChat Pay for quick, safe and secure transactions. However, there will be a lot of red-tape to get through before the local markets welcome this new method.

Air connectivity and quick visa turnaround times The Department of Home Affairs is working tirelessly to adjust its visa rules for a number of countries, in a bid to improve South Africa’s influx of tourists.
According to Saunders, China’s visa rules and turnaround times for approval need to be prioritised. Essentially, she added, we are in competition with countries like Australia who, for a number of years, have been rolling out China-ready strategies in a bid to increase traffic from that spending market.

“There should be a two-day turnaround when it comes to visas, as this is what Australia commits to when issuing visas to Chinese visitors,” she said.

 

Safety and security matter for Chinese Tourists

This is one of the most critical issues that affect our standing with international travellers. 

Crime is on the increase and while it is generally understood that a considerable investment of time and resources is needed to address the issue, there are short-term measures that can be
put in place to assure travellers that South Africa is headed in the right direction, with regardsto reducing crime.

At the root of it, is using the WeChat platform to reassure Chines travellers of the government’s efforts in addressing the scourge of crime.

 

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