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How to make money from tourism

19 May 2015 8:07 PM

We interview the author of "The Tourism Coach", a book aimed at entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs in the tourist sector.

South Africa – with people as diverse and photogenic as its geography - is a popular, and growing, tourist destination.

From all over the world tourists are ticking a visit to a game reserve or Cape Town off their bucket lists.

The most beautiful country with the most beautiful city

Just recently BuzzFeed voted South Africa as the world’s most beautiful country and Cape Town as its most stunning city.

The industry generated US$39 billion – or 9.7 percent of South Africa’s GDP – in 2013, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

A booming industry

Africans make up about 60 percent of visitors with almost 700 000 vacationing in South Africa during December, according to Statistics South Africa, while about 150 000 Europeans, 32 000 North Americans and 16 000 Asians visited our sunny shores.

The tourist industry grew by 6.6 percent in 2014, according Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom.

The science of making money from tourism

We interviewed Shaun van Eck, author of “The Tourism Coach”, South Africa’s first business book aimed at entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs in the tourism sector.

Listen to the audio (scroll down) for more detail.

We’re good at tourism, but there’s a wave of change and we’re a step or two behind our competitors. Tourists are looking for total emersion.

Shaun van Eck, author of “The Tourism Coach”

Ten years ago you could still get away with telling the market what you have to offer. Nowadays third party referrals are dominating the industry.

Shaun van Eck, author of “The Tourism Coach”

Design your experience around what the visitor is expecting. They must be participants and it must be an authentic experience. They need shareable moments to take South Africa out to the world. Decide what memories you want them to leave with and what emotions you want them to feel.

Shaun van Eck, author of “The Tourism Coach”

Focus on value rather than price. People are too similar in our tourism industry. We need to start segmenting and then look at appropriate pricing for each segment. You can charge more if you’re driven by value. It’s fine to match your competitors’ price, but then the only thing you’ll be judged on is price.

Shaun van Eck, author of “The Tourism Coach”

Rather than saying you’re there for everyone; say you’re there for the German adventure market. You must stand out. And you’ll stand out because of the specific market you’re catering for.

Shaun van Eck, author of “The Tourism Coach”

You must say ‘your needs are my needs’.

Shaun van Eck, author of “The Tourism Coach”

Get in touch with local tourism organisations to find out what works.

Shaun van Eck, author of “The Tourism Coach”

19 May 2015 8:07 PM

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