South Africa Signs Deal with Tencent to Boost Tourism from China

A Tencent sign at the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, China (Source: REUTERS/Aly Song)

South Africa has signed a two-year agreement with Chinese internet giant Tencent to use its popular social media platform, WeChat, to market tourism to millions in China, the South African tourism minister said on October 22.

Tencent, which has a market capitalization of more than $400 billion, will assist South Africa in enabling direct access to millions of potential Chinese travelers to market the country as a destination of choice, the department said in a statement.

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“China is South Africa’s largest trading partner and we are leveraging on this trade relation to strengthen the people to people exchange between the two countries. I am pleased that, together with Tencent, South African Tourism in China is laying a solid foundation for growth in visitor arrivals from China to South Africa,” said Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

Ngubane said Tencent will help position South Africa as a preferred tourism destination, using digital marketing campaigns on WeChat as well as other platforms within the Tencent ecosystem.

According to the department of tourism, as part of the deal, Tencent will also assist South African Tourism with knowledge transfer programs on best practices for destination development, and offer advice on how to accelerate the implementation of WeChat Pay for Chinese travelers.