Subscribe to industry newsletters

Search jobs

"We want to see a much more inclusive marketing industry in South Africa" - SA Tourism CMO

South African Tourism (SA Tourism) recently appointed a suite of marketing and communications agencies in response to the RFP162/19 the organisation issued in June 2019.
“25 years into our democracy, with the rapid shift and uptake of the digital and social media world, we have been given an opportunity to re-energise our tourism proposition to the world, increase awareness and consideration of South Africa in our global hubs, to shape the reputation of our country and to make sure we reach our target of 21 million arrivals by 2030,” said SA Tourism’s CMO, Themba Khumalo.

Image source: Gallo/Getty Images
Image source: Gallo/Getty Images

This follows a rigorous and detailed selection process with proposals considered from 16 shortlisted companies. “We appointed agencies in February 2020 after a rigorous selection process that started in June 2019 as per the requirements of the PFMA. This process is one that is followed by all government entities when seeking the services and expertise of service providers.”

  • Grey Advertising has been appointed as SA Tourism’s strategy agency with Trender as its subcontractor. MetropolitanRepublic Integrated Communications has been appointed for creative with Rudeboy Collective as its subcontractor.
  • For media strategy, planning and buying, the MediaShop has been appointed with BlackMarket Media as its subcontractor.
  • Digital will be serviced by Digitas Liquorice with BWD Advertising as its subcontractor.
  • Vuma Reputation Management will service Brand PR with Darkstar as its subcontractor.
  • FleishmanHillard has been appointed as the Corporate PR agency with Ethicore Consulting and Advisory Solutions as its subcontractor.
  • And lastly, the B2B component will be serviced by Demographica with 1215 KA Studio as its subcontractor.

“We would like to thank all the agencies for their participation and take this opportunity to congratulate the successful agencies on their pitches. We look forward to a mutually rewarding relationship with them as we continue to build the tourism brand both domestically and internationally,” said interim board chairperson Ravi Nadasen.

The agencies will commence work on the SA Tourism account as soon as contracting is concluded. “The contracts are five years, running from 2020 through to 2024 and each agency is required, among other things, to provide sound strategic counsel to the organisation that is a) globally and locally relevant, especially in elevating South Africa’s brand positioning and managing barrier issues to travel that impact on consumer perceptions, b) superior implementation and go-to-market capabilities that bring to life the brand positioning, c) stakeholder relations and d) the ability to drive meaningful consumer engagements in a highly digitised world.”

Each of these agencies has subcontracted 30% of their scope and billing to a small black-owned business. For the duration of the contract, SA Tourism will ensure that the subcontractors provide valuable input into the account and that billing is carried out appropriately.

“The contracts are with the main agency and are inclusive of the costs and services that will be delivered by the agency and its relevant black-owned subcontractors in each discipline. The management and relationship with the respective 30% is for each agency to manage,” he explains.

This marks SA Tourism’s commitment to the empowerment of small businesses. “It is our duty and responsibility to ensure that there is inclusivity and meaningful transformation in the tourism sector, from a structural and product perspective, as well as from us as an organisation.

“Ultimately, we want to see a much more inclusive marketing industry in South Africa that deliberately involves smaller and newer entrants so they are able to participate visibly in our strategic and global go-to-market solutions.”

Their main goal is to attract 21 million visitors to South Africa by 2030 and they want to do this in an inclusive manner that creates an equitable playing ground for stakeholders and product owners in the sector.

“Further, we are intent on producing work that is strategically sound, responsive to consumer feedback, meaningfully engaging and with a strong call-to-action for travellers to choose South Africa.”
Our brand work must remind South Africans of who we are, create conversation and re-invigorate the national psyche.
”It must be true to our essence and identity so as to connect with international and domestic audiences based on what they have been telling us through their experiences of our country and through our insights and analysis,” he adds.

“Finally, we are of the firm belief that advertising alone will not solve our challenges or create sufficient travel to South Africa. It will instead, require the mobilisation of all South Africans to drive the country’s tourism efforts, inspired by bold and integrated communication that awakens all of us towards action.”

About Jessica Tennant

Jess is Senior Editor: Marketing & Media at She is also a contributing writer. moc.ytinummoczib@swengnitekram

Let's do Biz