A study by one of the top streaming services, Netflix, found that its international subscribers were 3.1 times more likely to make South Africa their first choice as a travel destination after streaming local shows like My Octopus Teacher and Blood & Water. The Cultural Affinity survey was conducted by the streaming service giant among subscribers from Canada, Germany, the US, the UK, Brazil and France.

SA’s landmarks and monuments attracted views in the nature documentary My Octopus Teacher, and the drama Blood & Water, while the country’s creative scene drew in viewers of the comedy show Seriously Single. 

The survey also found that these viewers also identified more closely with the country’s culture and were 5.6 times more likely to want to learn Afrikaans. 

Netflix streaming stats

Apart from the survey, the partnership also saw the creation of the Made in South Africa collection on its platform that has 209 million subscribers in 90 countries. Revealed at Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit was the launch of the Made in South Africa content collection – a curated collection featuring over 80 South African films, series, documentaries and reality TV shows created by some of the country’s most prolific creatives covering both behind and in front of the camera talent. 

This sees the bundling together of shows and films such as My Octopus Teacher, Blood & Water, JIVA!, How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding, Trippin’ with the Kandasamys, I Am All Girls, Queen Sono, Kings of Joburg, Santana, Riding with Sugar, and Seriously Single. 

“It is about partnering to showcase the best of the local culture. It is about South Africans telling their stories to the world. There is a connection that happens when people view content and stories on Netflix. What we found is this power to be a cultural ambassador for South Africa and the continent,” says Sanni.

Aside from promoting tourism to South Africans, the partnership would also help build the soft power base for South Africa and the continent and export the African way of life, says South African Tourism chief marketing officer, Mzilikazi Themba Khumalo, “It is so the world can perceive the way we are talented, young and fresh and export the whole tapestry from a cultural standpoint”.

He notes that destinations can serve as backdrops for films so as to attract viewers to those places. “As a tourism body, we need to have a backdrop for a story that Netflix wants to tell. If you watch American movies shot in Washington DC, shots of the White House, The Capitol and other key icons in the city are shown. They have built the iconography in the film to project the power of the destination.”

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Source: Businessinsider