By Tulani Ngwenya
South Africa tourism has set the pace for reignition of the country’s tourism sector with the launch of ‘Live Again,’ a post pandemic global campaign.
The campaign entails the country’s brand promise to deliver the ultimate leisure, cultural, business and events travel experiences that will re-energize body, mind and spirit. This in a world weary from two years of disruption and destruction of the pandemic, lockdowns and economic meltdown.
Speaking at the launch SA Tourism Acting Chief Executive Officer Mzilikazi Themba Khumalo said; “This campaign sums up South Africa’s resolve to not postpone living life to the fullest one moment longer. It taps into this country’s people’s renowned optimism and resilience that have stood this nation in good stead at every turn when we faced seemingly intractable challenges. Through it all, we never lose our zeal for life and we’re inviting the world to approach the Covid 19 situation in the same way, as it evolves from pandemic mode to a state of endemicity. We’re saying it’s time to ‘Live Again’.”
With the campaign, SA Tourism is also putting shoulder to the wheel towards revival of the country’s economy and the pandemic-bruised sector. Before the onset of the pandemic and its attendant lockdowns and other disruptions, the tourism sector contributed about 3 percent of the country’s GDP, which included visitors spending about R 209 billion in direct tourism-related spend, in 2019.
The sector also employed some 773 533 people in the same year. Headlining the launch, South Africa’s Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu made a bold statement of intent to restore tourism’s allure; “Resilience, industriousness and adaptability are part of the indefatigable South African spirit. Fueled by these qualities, and driven by an unshakable conviction that we can and must climb back to the peaks we have previously summited with tourism in our country, we got down to business, about a year ago. Our goal was simple, albeit daunting under the circumstances; restore the sector to its pre-Covid 19 pinnacle and take it even higher.”
The launch in Sandton, also saw the country unveil its first audio-visual marketing campaign in five years, that is aimed at global audiences.
The advert captures the story of a captivatingly beautiful landscape, dynamic culture and people, vibrant night-life and exquisite cuisine. Its production also served as a ‘proof of the pudding’ sampling of the country’s tourism products, with over 170 crew staying for various periods in over 1000 rooms across the country.
“The production itself ended up being a systems-check for the tourism establishments we are selling to the world. We were able to gauge establishment operators’ understanding of their, and our responsibility to implement best-practices in protecting our visitors from exposure to Covid-19 while they’re in our country, having the vacation of a lifetime”, said Khumalo.