03 Jul 2024

Innovative Approaches to Sustaining Tourism Growth in South Africa


The first quarter of 2024 has been a period of remarkable growth for South Africa's tourism industry. The latest data released by Statistics South Africa reveals that international tourist arrivals reached 2.4 million from January to March, marking a 15.4% increase compared to the same period in 2023. This surge underscores the revival of travel and business tourism to pre-pandemic levels, presenting immense opportunities while simultaneously exposing significant challenges in the sector.

Andy Woods-Ballard, Travel Growth Consultant at Credo Travel, acknowledges the industry’s progress but emphasizes that growth brings new challenges. "We are seeing a robust recovery, but post Covid, there's a growing gap operationally in the availability of experienced travel guides and staff in Destination Management Companies (DMCs). This shortage has resulted in management and team dynamics issues, leading to early career professionals being promoted to leadership positions without adequate training," he says.

Such challenges directly impact the quality of travel experiences and operational efficiency. Without experienced guides, the ability to deliver memorable safaris and travel experiences diminishes. The lack of training can lead to operational errors, from mismanaged bookings to weak communication with clients, affecting customer satisfaction, agent satisfaction, return business and business sustainability.

Credo Travel has been instrumental in addressing these issues through strategic consulting and targeted training. According to Woods-Ballard, "Unlocking business growth requires strategic vision alignment, clear function accountability, and effective communication. We've developed a series of High-Performance Team Development workshops to help businesses build stronger teams, improve sales growth, and foster overall business success."

Credo Travel's approach emphasizes that to 10x a business, you must first 10x your people. This philosophy has been central to their efforts in boosting their clients' capabilities. Their robust sales training programs have proven successful in transforming both local and international clients. By focusing on enhancing team performance and providing targeted training in leadership and sales, Credo Travel has seen tangible improvements in its clients' operational efficiency and business growth.

"The results speak for themselves," says Woods-Ballard. "When we work with clients to align their strategic vision with clear function accountability and communication, we see a remarkable transformation. Combine this with the creation of a high performing team, working from a co-created sales playbook, businesses become more efficient, their teams more cohesive, and they can meet the increasing demand for travel services."

As the tourism sector in South Africa continues to grow, Credo Travel remains dedicated to guiding its clients through the evolving landscape. By addressing the industry's workforce challenges and emphasizing the importance of effective team building and training, they are helping to ensure that the industry can sustainably meet the increasing appetite for travel in the years to come.