Brand positioning a challenge for South Africa: Hanneli Slabber

Hanneli Slabber believed that despite a number of movies being shot in South Africa, production houses were not attributing them to the country, robbing them of the opportunity to promote the destination to a larger audience. She also asserted that production houses needed to weave in South Africa in the narrative to help them in destination positioning. She was speaking at Cinemascapes 2017.

Hanneli Slabber Country Manager India, South Africa Tourism

Hanneli Slabber rued the fact that – being an affordable destination for cinema shooting – several Indian and Hollywood productions were shooting in the country, but not attributing it in the storyline or otherwise, causing a dent to their marketing plans. She called this omission a major challenge for South Africa tourism. She termed it a loss on the tourism front, however maintained that it still involved local staff, thereby benefitting the local cinema industry.

Concurring with G B Srithar on the need for telling more stories involving the country, she said that it was a challenge for each country and destination to position itself integral to the storyline. Substantiating her argument, she quipped that despite J R Tolkien being a South African, New Zealand was able to steal the thunder for The Lord of the Rings. 

 In her own admission, South Africa was a young country with regards to cinema shoots and was learning from their past experiences. She informed that several amends were made, especially, concerning subsidy – wherein the entire spectrum of national growth and development was kept in mind while framing concerned policies. Sharing further, Hanneli noted that single-source clearance, incentives and the freedom to shoot in ecologically sensitive areas with adequate ground support were some of the strong pegs of the country’s offerings to the cinema industry stakeholders.

Speaking on India, she said that Cape Town had been a major attraction among Indian cinema makers, however stressed that South Africa had a lot more to offer than just Cape Town.

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