South Africa Tourism seeks new agency to build on positive coverage

South Africa Tourism is seeking to build on the positive coverage of the country during the World Cup by bringing in a new UK and Ireland PR agency.

Plans to build on World Cup experience: South Africa
Plans to build on World Cup experience: South Africa

The brief has until now been handled by FD, whose three-year account with the tourism agency has drawn to an end.

As revealed in PRWeek's reputation survey, South Africa has enjoyed a boost among UK consumers, with 66 per cent saying the tournament had improved their perceptions of the country.

However, one travel PR expert noted that the country faces a difficult challenge to maintain media exposure and profile now the World Cup has finished.

The source said: 'It is hard work to maintain interest and convert goodwill into having tourists visit. They need to communicate the spirit of South Africa and the positive, friendly people that are there.'

Eight agencies have been shortlisted by the UK's South African Tourism office and have a deadline of Friday to submit pitches. Agencies will then be invited to present their pitches ahead of an appointment by 1 September.

Ntsiki Mpulo, South Africa Tourism marketing comms manager, said: 'One of the major issues is how we leverage the positive awareness of the World Cup and help create an environment to convert travellers.' Mpulo said she did not know how much the brief would be worth at this stage.

The list includes a split between general PR agencies and tourism experts. South Africa Tourism is looking for an agency that can show innovation and expertise in reputation management. FD is one of the agencies that have been invited to pitch.

The consumer and trade brief includes media relations and creating online content. The agency will be targeting first-time holidaymakers and tour operators to create word of mouth and positive awareness about South Africa as a holiday destination.

The contract is for three years, with annual reviews.

In the PRWeek survey, the host nation's 'passion and enthusiasm' was chosen as the best thing about the World Cup by 34 per cent of respondents.

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