Has anyone researched what black South Africans want out of domestic tourism?

Looking around at the places I haunt – everything seems very white.

Where are the black tourists?

I know that the Western Cape has a perception problem when it comes to black visitors – but surely I should see at least some?

The thing is, if it’s true that every successful tourism economy gets 70% of its business from the domestic market, and if we don’t start seeing a significant growth in the numbers of black tourists in South Africa (and I’m talking holidaymakers, here) – we’ll never see significant growth in the tourism industry as a whole.

But – and here’s the rub – are we offering the products that black tourists want?

You have to assume not.

We all know that there’s no such thing as a typical black South African (just as there’s no typical white south African), but given this constraint, and given the huge cultural differences that exist between all the various groups in South Africa, surely we should have access to research that shows what specific sectors of our society want out of tourism?

Again, it would seem not. I asked colleagues, I searched the internet, I went through the South African Tourism site – but I found almost nothing on the subject (except perhaps this excellent article from thomaswhite.com  – but it’s more about retailing than anything else. Still, it provides a useable perspective).

Surely then, commissioning this kind of research should be a priority?

I’d love to hear your views on the subject – please post your comments below.