South African Tourism (SAT) claimed the lime light at the Netherlands’ premier travel trade show by delighting over 13000 visitors with several opening day events. Vakantiebeurs is open to the Netherlands’ public and travel trade from the 13th to 17th January 2010.
Johanesburg – South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Martinus Van Schalkwyk opened the busy holiday fair with a speech introducing South African’s 2010 FIFA World Cup™ signature Diski Dance and welcoming Zakumi, the official tournament mascot.
Using energetic demonstration dancers plus the incentive of winning a trip to South Africa with 5 friends to see the Netherlands – Denmark game, SAT is encouraging Dutch residents to learn the Diski Dance and visit South Africa. The campaign represents a co-operation between SAT, Fox Holidays and Metro, one of the biggest free newspapers in the Netherlands.
After the official opening and walking tour of the trade show, Minister Van Schalkwyk and South African Ambassador Peter Goosen opened the South African Pavilion showcasing the travel products of 40 South African exhibitors.
The ceremony saw Minister Van Schalkwyk rolling up his trousers and scoring a penalty in a mini football competition against the Director and Chairman of the Netherlands’ Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators.
Team ‘Orange’ then went on to play Team ‘Bafana’ in a simulated match using the official Adidas ball, Jubalani. Annemarie Ferns, director of South African Tourism in the Netherlands commented that “my dreams will come true if these two teams really do end up in the finals on 11 July 2010 in South Africa!”
In several interviews with leading Netherlands’ media the minister drove home the message that South Africa was ready to give visitors the time of their lives during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
The minister added that “tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in South Africa and visitors from the Netherlands play an important roll in South Africa’s ambitions to develop tourism and grow employment.”
Last year 130 000 Dutch travelers visited South Africa, making the Netherlands the 4th largest source of foreign arrivals in South Africa. This year a quarter of a million people in the Netherlands are considering traveling to South Africa, with 7 to 10 thousand of these planning to come for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
Minister Van Schalkwyk predicted that the tournament would earn South Africa in the region of R1.6 with longer term benefits including establishing South Africa as a preferred destination for global sport, business and cultural events.
Minister Van Schalkwyk, Ambassador Goosen, Zakumi and Annemarie Ferns closed the day with cocktail party addresses at which Ferns thanked the minister, the ambassador and Zakumi for the wonderful work they were doing in letting the world know about all that South Africa had to offer. The minister added that he hoped to see all those attending the fair in South Africa later in the year.
Picture: Carstino Delmonte/ Touristikpresse.net