- SA Tourism has launched a virtual roadshow and information platform to connect local businesses with Chinese buyers.
- The free virtual roadshow and information event takes place from 13 to 17 September.
- China is regarded as one of the most important tourism source markets to get the industry back on a sustainable recovery path.
As South Africa's tourism sector works to get back on its feet after the Covid-19 pandemic, local agency SA Tourism (SAT) has stepped up its efforts to draw Chinese visitors.
This includes launching a virtual roadshow and information event this month – a business-to-business matchmaking platform that will connect SA tourism product owners with Chinese trade partners who package SA products or experiences to travellers in the Chinese market.
The 2021 China Virtual Road Show and Virtual Familiarisation platform, as it is called, will run from 13 to 17 September and allow for one-on-one virtual meetings via video call and chat on any device. It is fully bilingual in English and Mandarin, with translation services available.
Before the pandemic, China was a key market targeted by the SA tourism sector, receiving around 100 000 travellers from China in 2019. SA previously set a goal to welcome more than one million visitors annually from China by 2030.
SAT acting CEO Sthembiso Dlamini said the agency remains "cautiously optimistic" about achieving this goal.
Around 60% of the country's tourism businesses are small businesses and can play a key role in SA's economic recovery, Dlamini added.
Mansoor Mohamed, hub head for Asia Pacific at SA Tourism, described the virtual roadshow as very important for economic recovery.
According to SAT, more than 600 confirmed meetings for the road show have already been set up and more than 100 Chinese buyers have registered so far.