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BusinessTravel Guide

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SOUTH AFRICA

A destination for all occasions


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SOUTH AFRICA Tourists the world over arrive in awe at what South Africa has to offer, from stunning canyons and mountain passes to unrivalled safari and a unique, compelling cultural history Writer: Tom Wadlow Project Manager: Joe Palliser

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nspiring landscapes, world-beating safari, outdoor adventures and a tumultuous history – South Africa has it all. Since the official end of apartheid in the mid-1990s the nation has been a favoured destination for travellers who flock to embrace its natural beauty and fascinating cultural diversity. This diversity is exemplified by its physical setup. Major cities are spread far and wide, some being thousands of miles from key settlements in other African countries. Another nuance of South Africa’s formation is the fact it has not one, but three recognised capitals – Pretoria is home to the country’s executive, Cape Town its legislature and Bloemfontein the judiciary. This, adding in the fact that Lesotho is landlocked inside South African territory, makes the nation one of a kind. South Africa also comes into its own in terms of its hugely varied and extraordinary terrain. From the enormous Blyde River Canyon to Table Mountain and dramatic coastal roads to the Karoo and Kalahari deserts, this is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Visitors would also be encouraged to learn about South Africa’s past to fully appreciate the country’s identity and cultural fabric, whether it be exploring one of the many fascinating museums and galleries that can be found in every major city. Throw in a largely comfortable temperate climate that sees plenty of sunshine, and you will find the complete tourist package.

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The Business End THE LATE 1800s saw South Africa’s economic picture take a dramatic turn thanks to the discovery of gold and diamonds, which sparked an influx of foreign investment. Following the end of apartheid, the country’s economy rebuilt as foreign capital returned, with major industry contributors to GDP and employment today comprising agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism. While recent years have seen something of an economic slump, the tourist trade is gathering increasing momentum as South Africa seeks to make the most out of its formidable attractions. In 2017, one in every 22 employed people in South Africa were

working in the tourism sector, totalling 722,013 individuals, around 4.5 percent of the 16.2 million people making up the national workforce. The tourism sector contributed 2.8 percent (or R130 billion) to South Africa’s GDP in 2017, making it larger than the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry. Foreign trade is another key contributor to the nation’s income, with China, the USA, Germany and Namibia alone accounting for more than a quarter of exports. Key export products include precious metals, agricultural goods and military equipment, while South Africa’s major imports include chemicals and motor vehicles.

Buskers are a common sight on the streets of Johannesburg

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FACTS & FIGURES

Capitals: Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein Number of official languages: 11 Area: 1,220,813 km2 Population (2017): 56,875,000 GDP (2017): $349.4 billion Currency: rand (R) Time zone: South Africa Standard Time (GMT+2) Dialling code: +27 Internet TLD: .za Climate: Temperate


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Out & About SOUTH AFRICA IS revered for its offering to those looking to explore the great outdoors. It is one of the world’s best safari destinations, with lions, leopards, buffalo, elephant and rhino accessible in parks and reserves, with visitors able to drive into the heart Kruger, Kgalagadi and other parks around the country. The diverse physical landscapes also offer abundant opportunities for adventurous activities, be it surfing off the Eastern Cape coast, rock climbing in Cederberg or abseiling down Table Mountain to name but a few options. Hikers can also enjoy long treks through nature reserves and deserts. Those looking to understand and embrace South Africa’s cultural past

and present should pay a visit to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, made up of 22 individual exhibition areas that form a dramatic emotional journey that tells a story of a statesanctioned system based on racial discrimination. Further, a visit to a township like Soweto or Langa will add to any attempt to engage with the country’s history and where the nation finds itself today. In terms of food and drink, South Africa’s culinary scene is unsurprisingly diverse, a reflection of its multiculturalism. From African staples to internationally-acclaimed seafood and grill restaurants, there is something for everyone.

A pride of lions drinking at a watering hole

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Tourists on safari watching buffalos crossing a road in the savannahs of Kruger National Park

A giraffe walking in the African savannah of Entabeni Safari Wildlife Reserve with a butte geological rock formation in the background, Limpopo Province


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Outlook Recommends “Black-maned lions framed against Kalahari dunes; powdery beaches lapped by two oceans; star-studded desert skies; jagged, lush mountains – this truly is a country of astounding diversity” – Lonely Planet

HOSPITALITY & EVENTS

NATIONAL PARKS

FOOD & DRINK - DURBAN

Kruger National Park

Grill Jichana

Golden Gate Highlands National Park

9th Avenue Bistro

Augrabies Falls National Park

Joops Place

Mantis Collection A family-run collection of five-star properties around the world, Mantis specialises in boutique hotels, game reserves, eco lodges, ski lodges and chalets and yachts. Mantis has several properties in South Africa, most concentrated on the southern coast with others based in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Durban International Convention Centre Situated in the centre of Durban, Durban ICC is a versatile venue flexible enough to meet any need. All kinds of events are held here, from international conventions and sporting events to concerts and bespoke special occasions. Fitted with state-of-theart technology, Durban ICC will not disappoint its visitors.

Umlilo Lodge, St Lucia The Oyster Box Ghost Mountain Inn

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FOOD & DRINK - JOHANNESBURG We offer:

Mo-Zam-Bik Linksfield

• Spacious en suite rooms • Swimming Pool • Air-conditioning/ heater • Honesty bar • Free wifi • Transfer bookings • Free parking • Generator power

• Mosquito nets • Bore hole • Hair dryer • Traditional Dinners • Laundry service • Coffee/Tea facilities • Amenities • Activity packages

Outlook Creative Services

Umlilo is a family run establishment – Your home away from home! T: +27 35 590 1717 E: info@umlilolodge.co.za www.umlilolodge.co.za

Outlook Publishing’s awardwinning in-house team is now utilising its extensive production skills to offer a full and bespoke range of editorial, design and marketing services via its new Outlook Creative Services division.

Lucky Bean

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N V I S I T: www.outlookpublishing.com/creative-services

Urbanologi

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South African Tourism HELPING TO PROMOTE the country as a go-to destination for travellers is South African Tourism, the official tourism marketing arm of the South African government. Sisa Ntshona is the organisation’s CEO, and here he answers our questions on the work carried out by the body and the current industry backdrop in South Africa. Africa Outlook (AfO): Can you firstly talk me through the origins of the South African Tourism, how it came about, and its initial vision? Sisa Ntshona (SN): SA Tourism’s mandate is to promote the country domestically and internationally, whether for leisure, business or events tourism. SA Tourism’s goal is to make tourism the leading economic sector in South Africa and, by doing so, promote the sustainable economic and social empowerment of all South Africans. Our beautiful country is an integral part of Africa, particularly the subcontinent of Southern Africa, so we actively focus our marketing to promote this fact. AfO: Since inception, how has the South African Tourism developed and progressed in terms of its key objectives and the messages it tries to get across?

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“We invite the world to the source of business inspiration, South Africa. Meet here. Grow anywhere.” – Sisa Ntshona SN: We have made great strides to introduce and market South Africa not only to our own people, but also since the dawn of our democracy in 1994, to the world. The organisation has grown from a few offices around the world to having operations in 11 international markets, with a mandate to market and share all that is unique, warm, and beautiful about South Africa.

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AfO: How would you say South Africa has developed in recent years as a business travel hub and what are the key reasons behind its growing appeal? SN: SA’s reputation is a destination that punches above its weight to provide world-class business events across our major cities in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. We have done this by connecting our audiences with the right capabilities and people, to help them grow in their field such that they can then export the world’s next big ideas. As the most developed country in Africa with a broad value proposition for potential investors, not only is our country a safe and secure destination, over the years we have proven record in hosting successful business events. SA offers accommodation and event venue options that meet global quality standards. Something about our country grooms the most inspired and inspiring people in the world. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. AfO: Why, in your opinion, should someone visit South Africa? SN: In South Africa, there is a story at every turn with our unique blend of cultures that gives visitors a sense of discovery. From nature and safaris to adventure and culture, urban living to authentic township and rural encounters, South Africa’s leisure and business travel offerings and experiences are worldclass, affordable, and for all to enjoy. An all-year destination, our country is not only an affordable, value-for-money destination for the international traveller, but also offers a unique and distinctive value proposition: South Africa has a unique, diverse, valued travel offering for all


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people around the globe. South Africans are warm, friendly and hospitable and they stand ready and eager to welcome more visitors to our shores. We are the gateway to the rest of Africa. AfO: What trends are transforming the tourism industry in South Africa at present? How are you responding to these trends? SN: BLesiure – the practice of combining business travel and leisure travel into one trip. Although most travel domestically is for business, on average, there is nearly equal likelihood domestic and international business trips will turn into bleisure. We are increasingly tapping into this as a way to maximise business travellers’ stays in our beautiful country. Technology is constantly altering the tools we use. Every industry, tourism included, needs to utilise technological advances to not only stay competitive, but to survive. This presents us with an opportunity to exploit technology whilst focusing on selling an experience versus a destination. Inclusive tourism is opening a completely new world in terms of how business owners in the tourism industry approach their offerings. We need to ensure that tourism is

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accessible – and inclusive – for all when tourism is often understood and experienced as an exclusive activity. Products, services and destinations that are tailored for individuals with special needs generate considerable returns to businesses, and wider benefits across the economy. Responsible tourism is all about making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. South Africa is one of the foremost responsible tourism leaders in the world, with dozens of gorgeous destinations where communities are uplifted and the environment is protected. Visitors will return home with a higher awareness of the interconnection between people and the earth, plus memories of a great time. Additionally, South Africa is ranked 34th in the world for business events hosting capabilities and as a country we are listed in the world’s top 10 longhaul business events destinations, a trend we want to keep improving next to our global counterparts. In line with our vision to position South Africa as an exceptional tourist and business events destination that offers value for money and a quality visitor experience that is diverse and unique, we call upon you to visit our country.

AfO: How do you see South Africa developing as a business travel hub over the next year to two years? SN: South Africa National Conference Bureau (SANCB) is the cornerstone in growing South Africa’s reputation as a destination that punches above its weight to provide world-class business events. Getting more business event organisers to increase the number of business events hosted in South Africa through collaborating with the SANCB is a priority. Additionally, over the next two years, we aim to continue building our relationships across the globe with decision makers who operate in sectors in which South Africa’s business event hosting capability is not well known. We invite the world to the source of business inspiration, South Africa. Meet here. Grow anywhere. AfO: Are you optimistic about the future of the tourism industry in South Africa? SN: Definitely. As a business and travel destination, South Africa offers multiple inspiring opportunities to learn new things. While we do believe that there is a lot of perception management that remains our responsibility to address, we remain excited by the possibilities that lie ahead with government’s reaffirmed commitment to bolstering tourism through destination marketing and reducing regulatory barriers, as articulated in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address last year. This will make it easier for any traveller to come and experience South Africa. Lastly, South Africa’s scenic beauty, magnificent outdoors, sunny climate, cultural diversity and reputation for delivering value for money have made it one of the world’s fastest growing leisure – and business – travel destinations. Visit South Africa Tourism website: www.southafrica.net

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Transport Links

Johannesburg buses

Cape Town International Airport

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perhaps the obvious and most flexible option. Regionally, South Africa offers some tremendous cycling opportunities. Hills, views and campsites are in abundance, while bikes can be taken onto most trains. Local bus networks are extensive and usually cheap to use.

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PHOTO: PASCAL KOBEH

SOUTH AFRICA IS home to a number of budget airlines such as CemAir, Kulula, Mango and FlySafair that serve most domestic routes at competitive prices. It is an easy way of getting from one major destination to another, especially given the long distances between some of the major cities. Shosholoza Meyl offers regular train services, including a popular overnight journey between Cape Town and Johannesburg that allows passengers to take in the vastness of the country’s landscapes. Travel by boat between the coastal settlements of Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Durban and onto the likes of Mozambique present an alternative way of getting around, with car hire

In terms of international air travel, OR Tambo near Johannesburg is the major hub, with other significant airports to be found in Cape Town and Durban. National carrier South African Airways operates an extensive network of long-haul flights to destinations all over the world.


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Landmark Attractions

PHOTO BY DIDIER B (SAM67FR) CC BY 2.5

Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

Table Mountain

“Around 600 million years old, and a canvas painted with the rich diversity of the Cape floral kingdom, Table Mountain is truly iconic. You can admire the showstopper of Table Mountain National Park and one of the ‘New Seven Wonders of Nature’ from multiple angles” – Lonely Planet

PHOTO BY LUKAS KAFFER, CC BY-SA 3.0

“The Blyde River Canyon Reserve extends along the Blyde River Canyon’s winding path, which at every turn offers more and more impressive views over sheer edges droper personing 800 metres into the riverbed” – Mpumalanga Tourism & Parks Agency

Apartheid Museum

“The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story” – Apartheid Museum

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PHOTO BY ANNETTE KURYLO - OWN WORK, CC BY-SA 3.0

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

“Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain” – South African National Biodiversity Institute


BusinessTravel Guide joe.palliser@outlookpublishing.com

+44 (0)1603 959 676

ryan.gray@outlookpublishing.com

+44 (0)1603 959 672

jordan.levey@outlookpublishing.com

+44 (0)1603 959 668

www.africaoutlookmag.com

Profile for Outlook Publishing

SOUTH AFRICA BUSINESS TRAVEL GUIDE  

South Africa Business Travel Guide - Africa Outlook Issue 69

SOUTH AFRICA BUSINESS TRAVEL GUIDE  

South Africa Business Travel Guide - Africa Outlook Issue 69