“Last year, arrivals from Germany to South Africa grew by 9.3% (235 774 arrivals) and by the end of February this year, arrivals were 7.8% up on February 2011”. This is the encouraging news from Cape Town Tourism’s representative in Germany, Barbara Zieme of Akomsa.
Zieme was speaking at a Cape Town Tourism market insights workshop, during which Cape Town Tourism’s Dutch representative, Anneli Bronkhorst of WW Tourism, also reported growing support for destination Cape Town - with tourist numbers from the Netherlands up by 4.3% year on year from January 2011 to January 2012.
Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism said: “Germany and the Netherlands are extremely important and lucrative markets for Cape Town. We will continue to work with our industry partners as well as trade and media from that region to further strengthen these tourism ties. Just last week Cape Town Tourism hosted a group of 100 top travel agents from German Tour Operator, Gebeco, for a mega familiarisation (FAM) trip. I have been encouraged to witness the enthusiasm for Cape Town amongst these operators. The quality of tourism product in Cape Town is lauded by German operators, awareness levels of Cape Town are high and we are expecting further growth from this market in the near future.”
Germany has the world’s fourth strongest economy and also boasts the most stable European economy. Unlike many of its neighbours, Germany saw an improved economic outlook in the first quarter of 2012 as well as growth in industrial output, employment and per capita income. 1,2 million Dutch are expected to travel internationally in 2012. Techno-savvy and socially responsible visitors, the Dutch enthusiasm for Cape Town may be dampened by the high cost (1200 Euros on KLM) of the flight.
According to Zieme, German travellers are attracted to Cape Town’s natural beauty, wildlife, culture and urban tourism. Niche tourism such as wine and culinary tourism, adventure and extreme sports, culture and heritage, youth travel as well as GLBT tourism, all stand to benefit from a direct and tailored pitch to the German market.
Despite the German penchant for luxury, both the German and Dutch traveller are looking for good value on their travels. This does not mean “cheap” but these worldly travellers are experienced in determining value vs cost and will not return if they feel taken advantage of.