South Africa’s Department of Tourism and Chinese tech company Tencent have signed a new strategic co-operation agreement.
Tencent – which has a market capitalisation of more than $400 billion – currently owns popular chat platforms such as WeChat and Tencent QQ.
As a result, the agreement will assist South Africa in having direct access to millions of potential Chinese travellers to market the country as a destination of choice, the department said in a statement on Tuesday (22 September).
“South Africa is open for business and offers diverse and world-class attractions, excellent transport services and communications infrastructure which competes with the best in the world,” said tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.
“China is South Africa’s largest trading partner and we are leveraging on this trade relations to strengthen the people to people exchange between the two countries. I am pleased that, together with Tencent, South African Tourism in China is laying a solid foundation for growth in visitor arrivals from China to South Africa.”
Kubayi-Ngubane said that he partnership will span over two years and aims to position South Africa as a preferred tourism destination in China, through digital marketing campaigns on WeChat as well as other platforms within the Tencent ecosystem.
Tencent is also set to:
- Assist SA Tourism with a knowledge transfer programme on best practices for destination development;
- Advise SA Tourism on how South Africa can accelerate the implementation of WeChat Pay for Chinese travellers visiting South Africa;
- Advise SA Tourism on best practice Chinese visitor experience making use of QR codes.
“This strategic co-operation agreement is one of many initiatives developed to increase arrivals from China to South Africa,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.
“Tencent, through its popular platform, WeChat, will assist us to access multiple segments of the Chinese traveler’s market. In addition to customized market for each market segment, Tencent platforms will also enrich Chinese traveler’s experience when they travel to South Africa,” she said.