Tourism News South Africa

Sho't Left Travel Week: A chance to boost South Africa's domestic tourism

South African Tourism recently launched the fifth annual Sho't Left Travel Week, a campaign to encourage South Africans to travel within their own country. The campaign, running from 4 to 10 September 2023, will offer discounts of up to 50% on travel experiences, accommodation, and historical and cultural tours.
Source:  - Blyde River Canyon
Source: Sho't Left - Blyde River Canyon

The campaign is designed to help South Africans explore their beautiful country and to boost domestic tourism.

The rising cost of living has made it difficult for many South Africans to afford to travel, so the campaign aims to make travel more affordable and accessible.

Last year, Sho't Left Travel Week generated 11,000 booking enquiries. This year, the campaign hopes to generate even more interest and encourage even more South Africans to explore their backyard.

Mashoto Mokgethi, head of domestic tourism at South African Tourism
Mashoto Mokgethi, head of domestic tourism at South African Tourism

We interview Mashoto Mokgethi, head of domestic tourism at South African Tourism, to get her thoughts on the Sho't Left Travel Week campaign. We ask her about the goals of the campaign and how the campaign can help to boost the tourism industry in South Africa.

Could you explain what Sho’t Left Travel Week is and how it contributes to tourism month in South Africa?

Travel Week is our annual campaign. The purpose of it is for us to create discounts for South Africans. It is the Black Friday of travel. We have it in the first week of September. You can then book your travel in that particular week but travel anytime.

Why is it important for tourism trade to participate in Sho't Left Travel Week?

Sho’t Left Travel Week is a response to South Africa’s affordability challenge, which is a big factor when they consider travelling in and around our beautiful country.

The campaign is about giving ALL South Africans access to the length and breadth of South Africa’s tourism offering.

Sho’t Left Travel Week gives travel trade an opportunity to contribute towards growing domestic tourism, which is the backbone of our tourism industry.

Improved provincial spread and seasonality, where provinces that usually get fewer visitors will have the opportunity to showcase their offerings and affordability to a much wider audience, and trade has an opportunity to provide discounts for times that they have fewer visitors.

What are the benefits of participating in Sho't Left Travel Week?

By joining Sho’t Left Travel Week travel businesses will not only become part of the biggest local travel sale, but also benefit from the hype and media investment created to support this momentous event.

What are some tips for tourism businesses to create successful Sho't Left Travel Week deals?

Sho't Left Travel Week is a major tourism marketing event in South Africa. It is the biggest local travel sale, and it is supported by a significant investment in media and marketing. The event is designed to connect trade partners with more than 10 million annual domestic travellers.

SA Tourism is creating marketing that is powered by the latest insights into trends and behaviours of the domestic tourism market. This marketing will help to grow the industry and get South Africans back on the road to travel.

Businesses can participate in Sho't Left Travel Week as a marketing channel or as an extension of their own marketing efforts. By participating, businesses can benefit from increased exposure to potential customers, increased sales, increased brand awareness, and improved customer loyalty.

Through the Sho't Left platform travel and tourism businesses can showcase and promote their offers at no cost giving them a free platform to increase reach to new customers.

The trade can offer any discount from 10% up to 50% and more (if they can afford it) and the best thing about travel week is that these discounts can be at the trade's discretion and can address their seasonality challenges.

How does the campaign generate leads and increase bookings?

Through the extensive Sho't Left Travel Week marketing campaign that includes TV, radio, digital outdoor, social media, online marketing, activations and PR, our trade partners benefit through the increased traffic to their deals that are promoted on Sho't Left.

All marketing efforts are aimed at driving South Africans to the Sho't Left website to explore the wide range of deals and packages. There are also some opportunities that are extended to some of the best deals (up to 50% discount) with price point advertising and posts. The better the deal the more South Africans will want to explore.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the tourism industry in SA?

Domestic tourism has surpassed pre-Covid levels and continues to grow. We are also seeing good growth in our African markets and International markets. South Africa is once again becoming a destination of choice for domestic and international tourists.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of the tourism industry in SA?

That regionally and internationally we surpass pre-Covid levels and we maintain the growth in domestic tourism. South Africa is a great destination to visit, more people need to travel to and within this country to experience our great views, great accommodations, great wildlife and our warm people.

How can the tourism industry in SA be more inclusive and accessible to all SA?

By creating affordable deals and accessible information on what people can do and where.

What is one of your favourite places to visit in SA?

This is difficult, as I love everything SA has to offer. However, if I must choose, I would say Phalaborwa. Limpopo is where I am from and the Kruger bush experience is amazing.

Where would you like to take a Sho't Left next?

The Drakensberg. The serenity there is amazing.

Trade can register here.Only open to South Africans.
(Ts and Cs apply)

Let's do Biz