With a population of 49 million people, 11 different official languages and a rich cultural history, South Africa represents one of the most diverse countries in the world today.

However, following the end of the apartheid era, the South African nation inherited a negative image on the international stage. This was exacerbated by a complex mixture of destructive legacies: crime, unemployment, poverty and AIDS.

There was a clearly defined need to stimulate economic growth, promote democracy and improve tourism. This could only be achieved by the creation of a new vision, to promote South Africa as a spirited and vital destination laden with diversity.


Inviting the World to Celebrate the Rise of a New, Unified South Africa

De Santis® created a new vision and brand to launch a new South Africa to the world. Under the Mandela government, we created a vision that  communicated the nation’s journey of transformation and rebirth.

De Santis® formulated a strategy that entailed the competitive international marketing of South Africa as a preferred destination, for the sustainable economic and social empowerment of all South Africans and for the purpose of establishing tourism as the leading economic sector in the country. A key factor in this vision for tourism was to unlock South Africa’s great potential as a sport tourist destination.

Due to co-ordinated branding and an aggressive marketing campaign, the outstanding tourism opportunities of this progressive nation have found an international audience and South Africa has experienced a tourist boom in recent years.

The new national flag of the Republic of South Africa was first used on 27 April 1994. The central design of the flag, beginning at the flag post in a ‘V’ form and flowing into a single horizontal band to the outer edge of the fly, can be interpreted as the convergence of diverse elements within South African society, taking the road ahead in unity. We aimed to brand South African tourism as synonymous with South Africa’s iconic rainbow flag. The image of a human figure emerging from within the stylised flag shape epitomises the emergence of the South African people as they rise to meet a vibrant and rich destiny.

Today, South African tourism markets the country’s scenic beauty, diverse wildlife, kaleidoscope of cultures and heritages, its sport and adventure opportunities, eco-tourism and conference facilities. Marketing is undertaken via SA tourism’s international offices in strategic markets. SA tourism participates in travel shows, produces a variety of promotional material and initiates and co-ordinates marketing campaigns to create a positive marketing climate for the effective marketing of South Africa’s many excellent tourism products. For this purpose SA tourism also arranges INDABA, the largest annual tourism market in Africa, as an opportunity for the South African travel industry to present its products to the international market.