How film and music promotes South Africa as an appealing tourism destination

15 May 2024

How film and music promotes South Africa as an appealing tourism destination

Africa's Travel Indaba played host to a thought-provoking media editorial session, exploring strategic collaborations and partnerships in tourism. Amidst the discussions, a spotlight was cast on South Africa's burgeoning potential as a film and music destination, igniting conversations on how these industries could catalyse tourism growth.

The panellists featured in this insightful discussion encompass a diverse array of expertise and experience within the realms of film, music, and tourism. Award-winning Executive Creative Director, Neo Ntatleng, brings a wealth of creative insight, while Jacqueline Rainers-Setai, representing the KZN Film Commission, offers invaluable perspectives on film industry dynamics.

Lehlohonolo Mokhosi, as Partnerships & Distribution Manager at NFVF, provides strategic insights into collaboration and distribution strategies. Thulani Maduse, Director & Founder of the Amapiano Summit South Africa, offers deep knowledge of South Africa's music landscape, particularly within the vibrant Amapiano genre.

Finally, DJ Stanky, an International Amapiano DJ and member of the DBN Based Group Kweyama Brothers, offers firsthand experience of music's role in cultural exchange and tourism promotion.

Together, these esteemed panellists shed light on the potential synergies between film, music, and tourism, paving the way for innovative partnerships and collaborative ventures in South Africa's burgeoning entertainment and travel sectors.

The session provided a platform for these professionals  of the entertainment industry to share their experiences and insights. One key takeaway was the pivotal role of film and music in shaping perceptions and attracting visitors to a destination.

As the moderator, Thembisile Sehloho, Chief Marketing Officer of South African Tourism mentioned, "America created a propaganda around using film and music to position their country, and we can learn from that."

Ntatleng concurred, joking that “some South Africans know the streets of New York and Los Angeles better than their own neighbourhood as a result of movies and music videos!” 

Highlighting the power of cultural exports, discussions delved into success stories from around the globe. Korea emerged as a prime example, with its deliberate strategy to promote Korean pop culture on the global stage. Drawing parallels, panellists emphasised the need for South Africa to harness its cultural assets to drive tourism.

However, challenges and opportunities were also scrutinised. Questions were raised about the content produced by South Africa's film industry and its alignment with tourism objectives.

While romcoms are popular in SA, there's a call for more diverse narratives that showcase the country's richness and diversity.

Ntatleng shared that, in his opinion, "there hasn't been an intentional strategy on how we're going to use our cultural and cinematic goods in a way that is going to have a Return on Investment (ROI) for the tourism sector. This provides South Africa with an opportunity to grow the sector with direction and purpose.”

Moreover, the importance of intentional collaboration between tourism and entertainment sectors was highlighted. By leveraging the allure of film and music, South Africa can create immersive experiences for visitors, fostering economic growth and cultural exchange.

The session illuminated the untapped potential of South Africa's film and music industries in bolstering tourism. With strategic collaborations and a focus on authentic storytelling, the country is poised to captivate audiences worldwide and emerge as a premier destination for local and international filmmakers.

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