Jerry Mpufane has been appointed as the new South African Tourism Hub Head for USA and Canada. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - Jerry Mpufane has been appointed as the new South African Tourism Hub Head for USA and Canada. 

Mpufane is taking over the position from Bangu Masisi whose term in office has come to an end.

Mpufane will be based at the South African Tourism office in New York and will lead a capable team that is responsible for driving growth into South Africa from this region.

The North American region is a key market for SA Tourism, accounting for just over 4 percent (445 000) of international visitors to South Africa in 2018. In the next three years, arrivals from this region is expected to grow to 665 000 - a 14.3 percent year-on-year growth with revenue of R15.8 billion in 2021.  

"Jerry’s appointment comes at a time when as a direct result of responding to our President’s call to create sustainable jobs through increasing Tourism to South Africa and we are looking to further strengthen our growth strategies in the North American market and maximize the region’s huge travelling potential," said, Sisa Ntshona, SA Tourism Chief Executive.

Ntshona added, "Jerry brings strong marketing experience to driving South Africa’s tourism growth from this key market and his credentials speak for themselves. As an industry leading marketer, we are encouraged by what he can offer us at SA Tourism as we continue to market South Africa as a destination of choice amidst strong competitiveness challenges". 

"It is a privilege to get the opportunity to fly the South African flag, and to join the effort of positioning our country as a fantastic holiday destination for the North American market," said Mpufane. 

Mpufane is no stranger to SA Tourism as he was employed by the organisation between 2004 and 2006 as the General Manager for Brand and Advertising and was instrumental in developing a strong brand positioning for SA Tourism at the time.

Mpufane will be taking up his new role in May 2019.

Ntshona also paid tribute to the outgoing North America Hub Head, Bangu Masisi, who will be retiring after serving SA Tourism for more than a decade.

"Bangu has been an integral part of our business having also headed up Hubs in Australia and the Netherlands. Under her leadership, all three hubs thrived and we wish her well in her future endeavours," said Ntshona.