Just launched: ‘Huge’ initiative to boost Chinese arrivals to SA
16 Nov 2017 – Tourism Update
“The brand awareness this initiative is creating is massive – I don’t think South Africa has done anything this big in China before.”
To cement trade ties, boost investment flows and encourage tourism between South Africa and China, Standard Bank and the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have launched the I Go South Africa loyalty programme in partnership with South African Tourism.
This initiative, part of ICBC’s Go Global rewards scheme for its card holders in China, was unveiled in Johannesburg on November 15. I Go South Africa will encourage Chinese travellers to visit South Africa by offering a range of discounts and special offers from South African merchants across the travel, hospitality and lifestyle sectors.
The following merchants have confirmed their participation, to provide special offers to ICBC customers travelling to South Africa:
• Legacy Lifestyle Group – An exclusive Hotel Lifestyle Group, offering prizes of free accommodation of 13 double rooms for customers on the ‘I Go South Africa’ programme and providing 20% discount on hotel accommodation at seven of its hotels and game lodges, as well as other discounted offers at 11 other merchants, consisting of restaurants, spas and luxury goods stores.
• South African Airways – offering discounted return flights from Hong Kong to South Africa – 15% discount on business-class tickets and 10% discount on economy-class tickets.
• Wine-of-the-month Club – A wine club with access to most of the wine farms in South Africa, has put together an offering tailormade for the ICBC cardholders on I Go South Africa at a 20% discount and will sponsor the wine for the launch event.
• Chenshia Group – Offering a large travel prize for travel to South Africa and other special offers to ICBC customers on travel packages through its travel company – Pan Africa Travel. It also offers 15% discount on jewellery through Chenshia jewellers
• Elegance Jewellers with stores in Sandton, Melrose Arch and Bedfordview
• Orpheo Jewellers in Bedfordview providing 10% discount
• Haute Cabrière wine farm – providing 10% discount on wine at the cellar door and at the restaurant
• 86 Public Restaurant in Braamfontein and Illovo, providing 10% discount on the restaurant bill.
Bradley Brouwer, President of Asia Pacific for SAT, said since this morning’s launch, 1.2 million Chinese citizens had viewed ICBC’s WeChat about I Go South Africa, and he predicted that between six and seven million people would have seen it by tomorrow morning. “The brand awareness this initiative is creating is massive – I don’t think South Africa has done anything this big in China before.”
Brouwer said four outbound Chinese tour operators were in discussions with ICBC with regard to potential partnerships. “The biggest benefit to Chinese tour operators is that it gives them a way to incentivise South Africa as a destination.”
Welcoming the I Go South Africa initiative, South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Tokozile Xasa, said:
“The benefits and new avenues opened up by tourism are far-reaching and vast Tourism growth from China will help us in our ongoing drive to create new, sustainable jobs in the tourism value chain.”
From next year, there are plans to introduce the initiative in other African countries, starting with Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.