South Africa’s rugby captain, Siya Kolisi, has been announced as the new global brand ambassador for South African Tourism.
The world-acclaimed Springbok captain is part of a new global campaign that looks to celebrate the country’s excellence by profiling and partnering with South Africans who are making waves on the global stage in their various fields including sports, arts and culture, and academia.
“With the Rugby World Cup starting in September in France, and as the Springboks prepare for the upcoming tournament, Siya is the perfect person to partner with South African Tourism in our marketing and promotional efforts as we seek to attract more travellers to come to visit our country. He is an exceptional South African whose story and journey inspire people from various parts of the globe. He is a true South African icon,” said Acting Chief Executive at South African Tourism, Nomasonto Ndlovu.
Hailing from Zwide, a Township in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape province, Siya has captured the hearts of South Africans and the world as captain of the South African rugby team, the Springboks. He captained the team at the 2019 International Rugby World Cup in Yokohama, Japan, defeating England 32-12 in the final to lift the Webb Ellis Cup. This was South Africa’s third World Cup win, tying with New Zealand, and with that Siya became the first black captain of a World Cup-winning side in the history of the sport.
Siya Kolisi said: “I’m super excited about this partnership because as a proud advocate for our country, I’ve always spoken about how much I love South Africa, and what a special place it is.”
“I see this partnership as an opportunity to promote the entire tourism sector in South Africa, and I want to be a leading voice in encouraging everyone to come and see the best of what the country, and we as South Africans, have to offer.”
South Africa boasts diverse and breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, wide open spaces, and a 3000-kilometre coastline with some of the best beaches in the world. But what really makes South Africa special and so attractive is the warm people, whose hospitality and excellence have captivated the hearts of many travellers from around the world.
“With the global tourism industry well on its recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, various destinations are showcasing their tourism offerings to attract travellers. For South Africa, we know where our best comes from. It comes from our unique places, our exceptional people and our authentic and rich cultures and way of life,” added Ndlovu.
In 2022 over 300,000 holidaymakers from the UK and Ireland visited South Africa, with 2023 figures set to far surpass this number. Total arrivals for the first half of 2023 are 193,935 which is a 148% increase on 2022 figures.