Last weekend was Indaba 2016 Africa’s primary tourism trade show at the ICC in Durban and at which we promoted our destination.
The economy, new advances in internet based communications, the presentation of the World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town a few weeks ago and possibly the very foul weather seem to have resulted in a less congested event this year albeit there were a number of enquiries relating to adventure, ocean and golf related experiences we have on offer.
Interestingly there were a number of bloggers scurrying around looking for new story angles and possible visits here to highlight our broad and interesting set of tourism and leisure assets. The writing of good bloggers is proving to be a major publicity tool due to a potential following that can run into the many thousands.
Whilst we will retain our destination marketing presence at the major trade shows it is my belief that the bulk of our efforts should remain focused on the tourism consumer and for this reason we will be doing a number of shopping mall and consumer activations during the next financial year.
I also attended the launch of a new TV initiative geared towards profiling major African centres using traditional cuisine as the primary interest anchor. This project will be aired on no less than 25 channels so I hope my discussions with the producer may end up with some shoots taking place down here.
Our team also had discussions with the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism as a means of strengthening tourist flow links between their visitors and ours, there is no doubt that the northern parts of that province seem more aligned to our area and with the new road coming through from Umtata, we need to gear up for new influxes in self-drive and possibly coach travellers.
Being a golfer and fully aware of our golf sell potential, I have initiated with a representative from the North Coast the establishment of a golf marketing initiative whereby we jointly sell our coast as Africa’s best golf tourism option and through this we anticipate promoting our courses at the world’s largest golf tourism expo in Spain later this year.
The programme will need to collective input from all our golf clubs and courses and to this end we will host a golf workshop to map a way forward.
Was Indaba 2016 a success? In terms of keeping our brand and product presence yes but more importantly it acts as a vital platform for us to engage with the media, decision makers, other tourism bodies, new technology providers and inbound operators keen to familiarise themselves with our destination.