South Africa’s alluring appeal has seen the country being ranked number #16 globally in terms of tourism sentiment. This is according to the recently released Tourism Sentiment Index®, for the third quarter of 2022.
The Tourism Sentiment Index is an independent global initiative offering destination marketers unique real-time insight into their customers and the conversations they are having online about tourism destinations.
According to the Index, we are ahead of India, Mexico, China, Denmark, Norway, Thailand, Spain and The Netherlands, to name a few.
South Africa notched up a Tourism Sentiment Score® of 23.6, 4% higher compared to Q3 2021.
This South Africa’s Tourism Sentiment Score® of nearly 24 in Q3 means the country outperformed the global benchmark of 21,2.
This 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.
According to the report, the top contributors to South Africa’s overall performance were: Wildlife Viewing (15%), Restaurants plus Dining (12%), and Festivals, Events and Concerts(10%).
Wildlife Viewing in South Africa generated 28% more positive sentiment than half of the destinations worldwide, placing South Africa in the top 10 in the world for this tourism asset, says the Tourism Sentiment Index® report.
‘This is an important milestone for SA tourism,’ said South Africa Tourism Acting Chief Executive Officer, Themba Khumalo. Khumalo added 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.’
Khumalo says the Index’s favourable score is the fruits of ‘our’ toil since we launched the much-vaunted global marketing campaign dubbed Live Again.
In a nutshell, the Live Again campaign seeks to reposition SA 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 SA’s cuisine and restaurant sector. ‘Our restaurants are world-class and are the bread and butter of the tourism sector (excuse the pun); thus, it came as no surprise it contributed 12% to Tourism Sentiment Score®.’
According to the Index, restaurants and dining in South Africa generated healthy positive sentiment of 32, placing South Africa 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 stated: ‘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 a excellent sentiment score of 35, placing South Africa at number two in the world for this remarkable tourism asset’, Khumalo mentioned.
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 SA exports almost 50% of its wine, with Europe being its most important export market,’ Khumalo boasted.