09 July 2020 - NW1169
De Freitas, Mr MS to ask the Minister of Tourism
With reference to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQ+) tourism, (a) what processes are in place to grade LGBTQI+ tourist and hospitality establishments, (b) what strategy does her department have in place to attract the LGBTQI+ as tourists to the Republic, (c) how is the strategy being monitored, (d) what results have been yielded from the strategy in the 2016-17, 2017- 18 and 2018-19 financial years and the remainder of this financial year and (e) what economic growth has the strategy yielded in the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 financial years and the remainder of this financial year?
a) What processes are in place to grade LGBTQI+ tourist and hospitality establishments
Properties owned and operated by LGBTQ+ individuals are graded using the identical process to all other hospitality establishments. All properties, irrespective of category, are treated equally and are required to provide the same service to all patrons irrespective of sexual orientation in line with the Constitutional foundational value of equality. It was for this reason that, after much consideration, no specific LGBTQ+ differentiator was introduced when the new grading system was implemented on 01 April 2019.
b) What strategy does the department have in place to attract the LGBTQI+ as tourists to the Republic
SA Tourism currently does not have a dedicated strategy for the LGBTQI+ as this segment is part of the already existing priority segments used by SA Tourism to target high affluent travellers in the identified markets. The segments are:
- A younger segment, or “Wanderluster”: Wanderlusters traditionally are considered to be avid travellers between the ages of 25 and 40. These are adventure seekers and fully immerse themselves in the country’s culture and fun related experiences. They are digitally-savvy, looking for and booking holidays online. They tend to be Free Independent Travellers (FIT).
- An older segment, or “Next Stop South Africa” (NSSA): The NSSA segment on the other hand, are wealthier, experienced international travellers, usually between the ages of 40 and 60. They typically look for natural beauty and authentic cultural experiences. They prefer independent or small group travel and look for luxury and comfort as part of their experience and Safari is a big draw when travelling to South Africa.
The targeting of the LGBTQI+ is driven largely through strategic tactical hosting programmes, that offers immersive experiences of the destination. The marketing efforts are focused on opportunities provided by this niche segment to drive growth without losing track on other consumers.
From 2017-2019, SA Tourism has partnered with the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) through its affiliated media houses and hosted over 30 of key LGBTQI+ travel writers, freelancers, bloggers, and influencers in SA for first-hand experience of our destination. During and post-hosting programme, the hosted groups would share their personal curated experiences and provide believable endorsement for SA as a LGBTQI+ friendly destination, thus encouraging their social followers to visit SA. The hosted groups are from key markets i.e. Australia, US, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil and Japan.
c) How is the strategy being monitored
The return on investment on the programme is monitored through the number of media coverage, social media mentions resulting from hosting the travel writers, freelancers, bloggers, and influencers. Furthermore, the market intelligence gathered through the hosting provides valuable insights for the adjustment of messaging in order to deploy tactical and targeted marketing programmes going forward.
d) What results have been yielded from the strategy in the financial years:
It is currently not possible to make a direct link as tourist arrivals statistics are sourced from the Department of Home Affairs and cannot provide background data on tourists’ sexual orientation in line with the Constitutional foundational value of equality.
The tactical hosting programme that SA Tourism deployed focused on driving awareness and positivity about South Africa as a LGBTQI+ friendly destination. Through this platform the hosted writers, freelancers, bloggers, and influencers, drove destination content throughout their networks.
e) What economic growth has the strategy yielded in the financial years:
It is currently not possible to make direct link; however, our overall global marketing efforts have yielded growth year on year in foreign direct spend, injecting R75 billion (2016/17), R82 billion (2017/18) and R87,4 billion (2018/19) in the SA economy.