View all newsletters
Latest in Luxury - Sign up to our weekly newsletter
  1. Features
April 15, 2013

What's Your Big Five?

By Neharika Padala

By Doug Gollan

Bo Kaap Neighborhood, Cape Town

Bo Kaap Neighborhood, Cape Town

Cape Winelands, Stellenbosch

Cape Winelands, Stellenbosch

Palace of the Lost City, Sun City

Palace of the Lost City, Sun City

Veteran elite travelers know that “The Big Five” refers to lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards and rhinos.

If you wonder why giraffes and zebras aren’t included, or why the list itself isn’t longer, it’s because the expression originally referred to the five most difficult and dangerous animals to hunt. Now, it is more often used as a checklist of sorts for safari-goers.

South African Tourism, however, wants to give the phrase new meaning. Speaking during a lunch at The Modern in New York City, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk announced that the phrase will now become a question, as in, “What is your Big Five?”

With South Africa well-known for its superb safaris and lodges, Van Schalkwyk wants to broaden the interest in his country, specifically highlighting cultural tourism, conventions and incentives, and food & wine (South Africa had three restaurants on Elite Traveler’s World’s Top 100 Restaurants—La Colombe, Rust en Vrede and Le Quartier Français Tasting Room). While “safari will continue to be the backbone,” van Schalkwyk believes getting the word out there about the very long list of other things to do will help the country gain both new visitors and strengthen its already impressive 70 percent repeat rate.

The minister noted that, for the business meetings market, hosting an event the size and complexity of the FIFA World Cup in 2010 proved “we can do it, and it was a big success.” There were over $4 billion in infrastructure improvements related to the games and billions more will be spent in the coming years making getting around South Africa an easy and modern experience.

Educating consumers about “going out from the city to small villages,” much like one does in Europe, is another aspect of travel Tourism South Africa will be pushing.

Attending the lunch was television newswoman Soledad O’Brien who recently returned from a vacation with her husband and four children. She elicited laughs when she said that much to her husband’s chagrin, “fashion and shopping” made it onto her top five, as the country boasts a plethora of local designers as well as the big brands.

Actress Marilu Henner, who had also recently visited, listed her “Big Five” as zip lining, dining, climbing Table Mountain, “facing her fears” in a shark cage and “the people.”

Content from our partners
Nightcap: Enjoy Live Music All Summer at Nemacolin Resort
How to Enjoy America’s Cup 2024 in Barcelona
From Mexico to Manhattan: Clase Azul’s Latest Tequila Captures NYC

South African Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima noted while there is “no silver bullet” in terms of marketing and the board uses many platforms, social media will be a natural way to get consumers to share “Big Five” reasons to visit his country. The country already has close to a quarter million fans on Facebook. Just as big game enthusiasts may wonder why “The Big Five” safari list isn’t longer, the biggest challenge of this campaign may be limiting people to just five reasons to visit South Africa.

Topics in this article :
Select and enter your email address Be the first to know about the latest in luxury lifestyle. Get the latest news on hotel openings and in-depth travel guides. Get insider access to exclusive promotions and special offers from our luxury partners.
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thank you for subscribing to Elite Traveler.

Websites in our network