Discover why Mzansi is the Jewel in Africa’s tourism crown.

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featuring interview with Ndaba Mandela, Chairman & Founder of the Mandela Institute for Humanity
Author of Going to the Mountain, Life Lessons from My Grandfather

If there is one thing that attractions like the Drakensberg, Table Mountain, Maboneng, The Kruger National Park and the Blyde River Canyon have taught us, it is that there is no place like home. South Africa is like a five-star buffet for travel experiences. Only in the Rainbow Nation can you start your day staring at a lion on an early morning game drive and end it eating dinner at one of the continent’s best restaurants.

That is probably why Mzansi was recently ranked as the largest travel and tourism economy in Africa according to the  World Economic Forum. While our beautiful landscapes underpin our success, technology has also played a vital role in the growth of South Africa’s tourism industry.

“South Africa has many favourable attributes that contribute to its prosperity. It is easy to understand why this option is becoming a favourite among guests from all over the world, given its stunning beauty, cost-effectiveness, and advanced technology. said Samantha Williams, Chief Customer Officer at internationally renowned booking technology, Profitroom.

Enriched by partnerships

“Partnerships are the cornerstone of the hospitality industry," says Ndaba Mandela. Attending Profitroom on Tour demonstrated how, by upskilling hoteliers and creating platforms for learning, we are not only building the future and creating a better industry, but  we are also seizing the opportunity to work together to solve the industry's challenges

Partnerships in the tourism industry offer an opportunity to create a stronger and more prosperous future.

Ndaba adds “that this spirit is carried to other African countries as well, inspiring more industry bodies to work together.”

Inspired by local communities

South Africa is a culturally diverse country with twelve official languages and a wide variety of cultural groups, making it a haven for unique experiences. Innovative technology enables local tourism businesses, such as hotels, guesthouses, and tours to reach a broader audience and educate them about the gems found in some of  South Africa's local communities.

Additionally, many individuals from local communities are employed in the hospitality and service sectors, working in hotels, lodges and transportation services, Ndaba adds “that their friendly demeanour, spirit of Ubuntu and local knowledge, enhance the overall visitor experience and contribute to the country's reputation for warm hospitality.”

Driven by technology

Technology has been instrumental in driving this growth. Recent Google research found that modern jet setters engage with up to 500 digital touchpoints before finalising their bookings while another study found that 83% of travellers are taking matters into their own hands, booking trips directly through online travel agents (OTAs) or independently.

“Technology has made so many aspects of travel easier, especially in a country like South Africa. We want to help make it even easier and better for them. One of the things we try to educate people about is the fact that you can save money and find fantastic deals by simply booking directly through your hotel’s website rather than going through an OTA,” explained Williams.

South Africa's cities are hubs of culture, creativity, and innovation, offering visitors a dynamic blend of urban experiences.

Its cultures, a rich and diverse tapestry showcasing centuries of multiculturalism and its landscapes, a stunning web of ecologies. South Africa has it all, from Mapungubwe in Limpopo to the stark history of Robben Island and all points in between.

It is called the Rainbow Nation for a reason, it's time you found out why.



Michélle Cloete, Marketing Executive - Africa