South African Tourism has appointed a new trade trainer to visit and train UK travel agents.

Steve Balderston has joined SAT from Tourism NT, which covers Australia’s Northern Territory.

He will report into UK hub head Tolene van Der Merwe and be tasked with driving trade sales to South Africa.

Balderston will host training sessions, attend the tourist board’s SAT School roadshows, visit agents and host fam trips. He will also focus on supporting agents after trips.

He said: “There are a lot of similarities in the destinations, so I want to transfer that and learn about somewhere new.

“Experienced agents want me to help them learn about the next best thing in South Africa, while newer agents need to understand the general overview.”

SAT School roadshows take place this month across the UK and the SAT Mega Fam is set to return for June 2019, with 20 places up for grabs for agents who attend roadshows, take part in training and show desire to sell South Africa.

Facebook Live training videos are also available and a peaks campaign called My South Africa Guide is to be launched after Christmas. Full details are being kept under wraps, but van Der Merwe said it would be a digital way of putting agents in touch with suppliers and experts on the ground in South Africa and would help promote the country’s hidden gems.

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