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Tourism And The Media - South Africa

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Tourism and the Media вЂ" South Africa


This report will assess how South Africa is portrayed in the global media and what affect this has on tourism. The report will be divided into three sections; the first section of the report will look at a wide variety of media, both travel and non travel, to give scope to how the destination is represented. The second section will then go on to look at the negative representation of South Africa, and finally the third section of the report will give recommendations as to how South Africa could improve its image in the global media.

Section 1

Section one will be divided into two sections, firstly the travel media will be assessed then the report will move on to look at the non travel media. The travel media is typically working towards portraying the destination in a good light although some provide unbiased advice which can come across as being a negative representation. Non travel media has no links to the destination and portrays a largely negative image.

1.The Travel Media

1.1 Advertisements placed by the destination marketing organisation

Destination marketing organisations, also known as DMO's, are responsible for the marketing of an identifiable destination (Pike, 2004). They are very important in terms of portraying a positive image for the destination. This is done in a variety of ways, such as marketing or strategically planned press releases. DMO's now have the added advantages of being able to use the internet to promote their destinations. The increasing use of the internet as a distribution channel means that it is very important that DMO's produce an attractive and effective website.

South Africa's DMO website ( is clear, attractive and provides a consistent brand image. This is a symbol inducing the national flag, and gives the destinations slogan, which is ' It's impossible'. This suggests a belief that tourists think it’s impossible to go to South Africa, yet the DMO are trying to say that it is possible.

The DMO, as well as using the internet to promote the destination, conduct many advertising campaigns in order to portray a positive image. Appendix 1 shows one of many adverts produced by the DMO. This particular advert was shown in cinemas internationally and has the title of 'awesome sensory impact'. This way of advertising does not hit a huge audience but can be very effective in engaging potential visitors. The use of cinemas provides an audio visual experience unparalleled to anything you could have on a regular television, so it achieves better consumer focus and is also a cheaper method of advertising. This advert portrays images and sounds that people associate with Africa, such as wildlife and entertainment, and also incorporates the destination branding and slogan. In all this advert provides a strong brand image, excellent audio visual detail and a positive destination image, all the ingredients of an effective advertisement.

1.2 Destination marketing organisation brochures

Brochures are another form of promotion that the DMO uses to give a positive representation of South Africa. Brochures are effective in providing in depth detail about a destination and supplementing it with a large amount of stimulating images. They are typically known to be available, but with the rise of the internet it is now possible for tourists to visit the organisations or destinations website and pick what you would like to see in your brochure, and then it is possible to download and print off. This makes it much easier for the consumer, although to cover the whole market, destinations and organisations still produce paper copies. This is the case with the DMO for South Africa, where you can pick and choose what you want in your brochure on the website, or you can order a copy in the post. Appendix 2 shows the paper version of the brochure produced by the DMO.

This brochure again shows the branding and slogan on the front cover and it the DMO call it the �factfiler’. It is fairly large at 140 pages and is crammed full of very useful information about all aspects of the destination. Visually it is good to look at as the majority of it is filled with images of the country, this can be more useful than words in portraying a good image for South Africa. The DMO also work in partnership with lots of local hotels, tour operators and attractions, who all get the chance to advertise within the brochure. This is not only a good way for the DMO to raise funds, but it is also good for the local communities as it promotes local businesses instead of multi-national enterprises (MNE’s) and keeps leakages down.

The only negative side to the brochure is that it is only available by request online, so this limits the number of potential tourists that will see it, where as if it were in high street travel agencies it would perhaps get more viewing. There is also no mention of the problems within the country such as crime and disease, although this is understandable when their main goal is to present a positive image of the destination

1.3 Tour operator brochures

Appendix 3 shows some examples of tour operator brochures. The basic principles are the same as described above, although tour operator brochures are trying to sell the companies products rather than the destination. South Africa is not regarded as a destination for mass market tourism so it is majorly found in specialist tour operator brochures, such as Explore and STA Travel. The destination in whole is also profiled in much less detail than the DMO brochure and only takes up small sections of the tour operator brochures. These brochures are distributed in very similar ways to that above, yet they can be found in most travel agents, giving them a wider audience. Although these brochures give much less detail than the DMO brochure it could be argued that they are a more useful tool to the consumer, as they are more accessible and the brands are trusted more than the local companies in the DMO brochure.

1.4 Guide books

Guide books follow the theme of travel media by mainly presenting a positive image of the destinations they are writing about. Although it can be said that they aim to give the reader the best advice possible which means they give an unbiased review of the country, this includes giving advice on health, crime and other dangers. This being so, what they do say about these dangers is written in a way not to deter the tourists, in contrast to the FCO’s



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