A short synopsis of the SANParks key markets April 2011

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1 A short synopsis of the SANParks key markets April Primary Target Market 1.1 Characteristics - Predominantly English and Afrikaans speaking white families LSM Mature and ageing market; - High disposable income; - Visit the parks regularly, up to three times or more per year - almost like a pilgrimage - Most are WILD Card members; - Book in advance and have experienced various facilities and activities offered within the parks; - Understand and support conservation issues; - Have visited other parks in SA and neighbouring states; - Longer length of stay 3 days and more; - Visiting parks has progressed from school programmes such as Veld Schools, to becoming an annual get-away and have gained deeper understanding of the WILD and are now enthusiasts e.g. on Bird life, Flora, Trees, certain animals etc. - Currently represent 75.4% of domestic visitors to parks and 92% of total domestic overnight visitors. 1.2 Market Research tactics employed - Needs analysis research done through North West (Potchefstroom) University at least twice a year in major parks and once a year in smaller parks. For information only Page 1

2 - Broad aims of the research are to solicit input from this market in order to continually monitor and understand the needs and views of this market. In addition to this, some of the following are also researched: - o profile of the current overnight visitor; o demographic data of the current visitor base o their spending patterns; o reason for visiting the park; o views on behavior inside the park; o Perceptions about levels of service o Analysis of trends and recommendations made to SANParks management 1.3 Marketing to this Audience - SANParks business is presently dependent on this market; - Strategy employed is to maintain and steadily grow this market by keeping them interested in our Parks; - Continuously instilling confidence on SANParks ability to deliver nature-based tourism products and services. - Audience is reached through Wild communication, travel exhibitions and media, wild life publications and television channels - most communication is unpaid for as - Non-marketing efforts for example well maintained park infrastructure, room and amenities cleanliness, level of service at park reception, picnic sites, restaurants, game drives etc. plays a greater role in keeping this audience interested in parks than pure marketing efforts. - Marketing efforts are mainly to inform them about new facilities, accommodation specials and new adventure activities 2. Secondary Target Market 2.1 Characteristics - Predominantly Black middle class families & young adults - LSM Majority grew up in apartheid era; - Growth market, huge earning power (Black Diamonds); - Major opportunity to grow the conservation support constituency - Opportunity to develop to be feeder to SANParks Primary Target Market; For information only Page 2

3 - Untapped future market for SANParks and the Wild Card Programme; - Developed VFR(Visiting Friends and Relatives) culture needs conversion to overnight in Parks; - Less developed holiday travel culture; - To convert requires education about National Parks offerings; booking methods and reservation lead times; - Currently represent 24.6% of domestic visitors to parks and 8% of total domestic overnight visitors. 2.2 Market Research tactics employed - When inside parks this audience is captured through ongoing needs analysis research done by North West University but as this audience is a very small percentage of our overnight visitors, the audience share of researched voice is negligible. - A syndicated TNS survey titled project Holiday Check II was done in 2007 and 2008 with an aim: o To understand general Black Diamonds behaviour in terms of holidays Frequency of taking holidays in South Africa Preferred holiday destinations Times of the year when holidays are taken most often The planning aspect who, when and how? o To establish Black Diamonds awareness, usage and perceptions of South African National Parks Awareness levels of individual parks Experiences with South African National Parks visited or stayed overnight? Means of booking South African National Parks accommodation Reasons for not visiting or staying at South African National Parks Perceptions of South African National Parks across various aspects Features most likely to attract Black Diamonds to South African National Parks - The TNS survey established that level of awareness of National Parks amongst Black Diamonds is low and that parks are not top of mind as a holiday destination. For information only Page 3

4 - Seaside resorts still ranked high as preferred holiday experience but are prepared to take any adventure holiday experience. - The survey also established that the parks are perceived to be too expensive although those who visited parks have a favorable perception of them. - In 2009 South African Tourism did a study titled Marketing Mzansi to South Africans this study confirmed VFR trend, developing holiday travel culture in Black middle class and the need to create year round destinations to excite this market. 2.3 Marketing to this audience - This segment is important to SANParks due to huge earning power and a potential grow to be a feeder to the primary target market. - Education through various methods is vital. (Kids in Parks Programme, Kudu Green Schools, National Parks week) - SANParks as a state-owned entity has a responsibility to ensure that it is accessible to all citizens of the country and the tracking of black visitor numbers is showing a positive trend albeit from a small base. The overnight statistics are not growing at the desired rate and hence other exposure and education opportunities must be explored. - The marketing strategy directed at this market aims to encourage trial and repeat usage to those interested. - Marketing messages focus on educating this audience about National Park s tourism offerings, their location and procedures followed to make a booking. - Considering the amount of time and effort needed to convert this market direct contact has been identified as the most effective method to distribute the message. The primary method used to communicate to this audience is through consumer exhibitions at tourism and travel shows (Such as the Soweto Wine Festival), shopping malls and places where they work and play. - Wherever appropriate print media, radio and television can be used but online advertising is now regarded as the best avenue to reach this audience. (Isidingo) 3. Tertiary Target Market 3.1 Characteristics - All International visitors to parks; For information only Page 4

5 - Interests differ depending on frequency of visits; - First time visitors use tour bus repeat visit becomes self-drive; - Major interest in flora and fauna; - Uses most activities and facilities especially restaurants; - Pay international (higher) conservation fees; - Buys international Wild Card; - Key markets are Germany, UK, Netherlands, France, USA, India and Scandinavian countries. - Currently represent 21% of the total visitors to Parks (79% of the visitors to Parks are domestic visitors) 3.2 Market Research tactics employed - When inside parks this audience is also captured through ongoing needs analysis research done by North West University but as this audience forms a small percentage of our overnight visitors, the audience share of researched voice is also negligible. - SANParks rely on South African Tourism and consumer insights gathered through international travel trade industry to gauge which international market to target. 3.3 Marketing to this audience - Marketing strategy is to attract, maintain and grow international visitors whether coming through organized tour groups or as self-driving guests. - This audience is reached mainly through SANParks website and Wild Card communication. - Limited advertising and promotions is done through tour operator brochures. - Most international tour operators are reached through Tourism INDABA, direct communication from Travel Trade office and through South African Tourism and South African Embassies in represented markets. - Direct contact to international consumers is achieved through participation in international travel consumer exhibitions and SAT road shows in the targeted markets. - To achieve top of mind contact with British travel trade an area representative has been appointed to represent SANParks in the UK market; budget permitting, the same will be considered for Germany and Netherlands. For information only Page 5

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