How can travel agents market to the SA domestic traveller?

“We have set aside R100 million that will be utilised to promote domestic tourism. We need innovative ways to market our tourist destinations and product offerings to entice our citizens to travel and experience South Africa.”

It is these words from our Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom that has prompted SA Tourism to join forces with ASATA, as SA Tourism is looking to the South African travel agent for ‘innovative’ ways to market to the SA domestic traveller.


To help you along your way, we want to give you some tips and pointers on how to best market to the South African domestic traveller.

Important to know for example, is that South Africans get inspired to holiday domestically when they hear about the holiday experiences of their friends and family, or when there are are sports or musical events being organised at the destination. Also media promotions will entice the South African traveller.

The BUILD traveller, who hasn’t travelled yet but has the right background to do so, will mainly be inspired by word-of-mouth. However, also he/she can also be inspired by media promotions on the radio, promotional ads in magazines and news about different places. Travellers wish to see and experience what they see and hear through these sources, and they will use the Internet to select destinations. Also other travellers’ photos on social media websites (such as Facebook) help in choosing a destination.

Although the BUILD market is a challenging market for the travel agent to reach, travel agents who do want to reach out to this traveller need to remember that this group of travellers has a strong preference for beaches and seaside locations, but also enjoy holidaying around places with plenty of greenery. The budget this traveller sets aside for a trip of about a week will range between R2000 and R5000 per person.

The CONVERT traveller, who has already travelled but not for leisure, will be inspired by activities (such as diving and swimming) and events. Travel agents wanting to market to this traveller will need to take to social media, as convert travellers mainly refer to travel-related posts on social media along with travel review websites. However, also the brochures and advertisements of travel agencies in newspapers will speak to them.


Travel agents will need to remember that the convert traveller sees the bush, the beach and the mountains as ideal holiday destinations. No technology and no civilisation are some of the characteristics these travellers associate with their dream destinations. The budget this traveller sets aside for a week’s holiday is between R5 000 and R7 000 per person.

The ‘been there, done that’ DEFEND traveller, has travelled extensively, and will find inspiration through word of mouth of friends as well as sports and musical events. They mainly turn to travel review websites to research a destination. Also social media has important role to play, as travellers see other travellers’ photos on social media websites (such as Facebook) and engage with them to get information on their trip.

Travel agents wanting to reach out to the affluent DEFEND traveller, will need to keep in mind that Beach and Islands are the most popular dream destinations as they long for peace and solitude. Also the mountains are a popular getaway, as these travellers like the snow. The budget DEFEND travellers set aside for a week’s holiday is between R10 000 and R15 000 per week.

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