SOUTH AFRICA RANKS IN TOP 20 FOR TOURISM SENTIMENT
Recent data released by the Tourism Sentiment Index shows that South Africa’s alluring appeal has placed it among the best places in the world in terms of tourism sentiment.
South Africa has been ranked 16th in the world when it comes to tourism sentiment. This is according to the latest research for the third quarter of 2022 by the Tourism Sentiment Index.
The independent global initiative offers destination marketers unique real-time insight into their customers and the conversations they are having online about tourism destinations.
The country notched up a Tourism Sentiment Score of 23.6, 4% higher compared to Q3 2021. It means South Africa outperformed the global benchmark of 21,2. The top contributors to its overall performance were wildlife viewing (15%), restaurants plus dining (12%), and festivals, events and concerts(10%), according to the report. The results put the country ahead of India, Mexico, China, Denmark, Norway, Thailand, Spain and The Netherlands when it comes to traveller happiness and feedback.
“This is an important milestone for SA tourism,” said South Africa tourism acting CEO Themba Khumalo.
The near 24 score is no small feat, as the index analyses 625 million online conversations across 100 tourism destinations globally, according to the TSI South Africa rankings report. Thus far, it is the only one of its kind in the world for two reasons: It is purpose-built for destination marketing. Customers get access to data from thousands of other destinations around the world.
Wildlife viewing in South Africa generated 28% more positive sentiment than half of the destinations worldwide, placing the country in the top 10 in the world for this tourism asset, says the Tourism Sentiment Index report.
Khumalo said that the Tourist Sentiment Index is a consolidated measure of a destination’s ability to generate positive word of mouth about its tourism offering online.
While the Index’s favourable score is the fruits of ‘our’ toil since we launched the much-vaunted global marketing campaign dubbed ‘Live Again’, he added.
In a nutshell, the Live Again campaign seeks to reposition South Africa firmly in the hearts and minds of international travellers and to showcase the country’s “beautiful landscape, dynamic people, vibrant nightlife and exquisite cuisine,” he said.
At the heart of the Live Again messaging is about encouraging people “to take life by the reins and explore our country again after the tumultuous two years of fighting the global pandemic,” he emphasised.
Khumalo spoke highly about South Africa’s cuisine and restaurant sector.
“Our restaurants are world-class and are the bread and butter of the tourism sector – excuse the pun,” he said. “Thus, it came as no surprise it contributed 12% to Tourism Sentiment Score.”
According to the index, restaurants and dining in South Africa generated a healthy positive sentiment of 32, placing the destination in the top 10 in the world for this tourism asset. “Our cuisine is a unique fusion of many different external cultural influences. These include Dutch, French, Indian and Malaysian flavours, to name a few,” he said.
Khumalo added: “It is a testament to South Africa’s famed diversity. Its people, landscapes, cultures and languages offer a melting pot of intrigue and excitement. Our cuisine defines our homeland, a resilient people with a proud heritage. We delight the pallet with a wide range and flavours, designed in South Africa and inspired by the world. Our restauranteurs aim to please.”
Diving and Snorkelling in South Africa generated an impressive sentiment score of 35, placing it second in the world for this remarkable tourism asset, Khumalo highlighted. Not to mention our special pride and joy of South Africa, the wine and vineyard industry.
According to the report, South Africa was ranked number 1 in the Wine and Vineyards category, ahead of France and Australia. “We are simply the best in the wine business, producing around 3.4% of the world’s wine, making us the ninth-largest wine-producing market globally. It is a no-brainer that South Africa exports almost 50% of its wine, with Europe being its most important export market,’ Khumalo added.