SA Woos Tour Operators #NordicMeetSouthAfrica2018

Event Africa Contributor 27/03/2018 Industry News

With its sights set on the Nordic market, South African Tourism, SAA and local destination marketing companies including SW Africa arranged a mega familiarisation trip with the aim to drive inbound travel from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway – markets which contributed to 60,000 tourist arrivals between January and July 2017, according to SA Tourism.

The #NordicMeetSouthAfrica2018 initiative saw 85 Nordic tour operators embark on a seven-day trip showcasing the highlights of South Africa’s different provinces and exposing them to local SMME experiences and top-notch hospitality.
SW Africa’s group were taken to Limpopo and Mpumalanga, embarking on a tailor-made itinerary crafted by the DMC.
“This was a fantastic opportunity for us to connect our Nordic travel partners with local travel products, such as locally owned accommodation and visit to community tourism experiences and local villages. SW Africa incorporated arts and crafts studios, scenic drives and thrilling wildlife game drives in the Kruger in our itinerary and the feedback we received on tour was incredibly positive,” says Henk Graaff, director of SW Africa.

The first stop in SW Africa’s itinerary was at the four-star Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge, where a local guide offered insights into the cultural heritage gallery and Madi a Thavha Textile & Design studio. The next day, representatives were treated to an in-depth experience at the Kaross Studio, an embroidery and weavers project that incorporates 900 Shangaan women at an Orange Farm in Letsitele.

Delegates also stayed with Sefapane Lodge & Safaris near the Kruger National Park’s Phalaborwa Gate – their stay incorporating a 4×4 evening safari drive and an authentic bush braai. After a morning game drive, they continued to the Timbavati Game Reserve for a sunset game drive with sundowners, and dinner served in the outdoor boma at Simbavati Safari Lodges.

A particular trip highlight was a lunch visit to the brand new Graskop Gorge Lift en-route to the final overnight stop at Zebra Country Lodge, near Pretoria, where guests were treated to a Ndebele cultural performance.

Delegates were encouraged to post their experiences online using the #NordicMeetSouthAfrica2018 social media handle with various prizes up for grabs. They were also invited to a final workshop at Spier Wine Estate in the Western Cape, where the groups could share their South African experiences with each other.