Pitch underway for South African Tourism UK remit

South African Tourism is looking for PR support to handle its UK activity.

Basil van Bloomestein, the body's London-based deputy MD, has confirmed that agencies are being considered for the newly created brief.

Van Bloomestein said the geographical reach of the brief is currently uncertain and could also include Ireland and the Nordic region, which he also oversees.

'It depends on what the agencies have to say,' he said.

A decision is expected within weeks. The UK, Nordic and Ireland PR office is headed by managing director Willem Eksteen, with Bloomestein overseeing PR operations.

PR support was handled by Kaizo Communications until two months ago. A Kaizo spokeswoman said the agency declined an offer to repitch.

Kaizo took over the SAT account two years ago when the account holder of around 15 years, Lesley Daley, joined the agency. Daley is no longer with Kaizo.

Speaking at a tourism event held in Durban earlier this year, SAT chief executive Cheryl Carolus said she wanted to see tourist numbers boosted by seven per cent as soon as possible, as well as extended length of visits.

Carolus was South Africa's High Commissioner in London before taking on the SAT post at the start of this year.

Past PR campaigns by SAT in the UK have involved sending taxi drivers from London, Birmingham and Manchester on free holidays to South Africa.

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