by Phelisa Mangcu, 25 June 2019
The Ugu Jazz Festival this weekend is not only an entertaining music festival that brings joy to jazz and music lovers. It is also a flagship event that helps our region position itself as an exemplary and unique events destination. And, most of all, it brings direct benefit to the KZN South Coast through its participants’ spend.
Almost as soon as we announced the date of the annual Ugu Jazz Festival, we received enquiries about where to stay. When people booked their tickets, they asked Eyadini Events, the organisers, about accommodation and special rates. This allowed us to engage our Ugu South Coast Tourism members to get special rates for guests who are attending the Ugu Jazz Festival. A staggering 60 establishments participated, with guests booking in on Friday, staying for two nights and leaving on Sunday, after recovering from the festival on Saturday. Because this event is happening during the winter school holidays, some guests have extended their stay to make a holiday out of it. At the latest count, 5000 tickets have already been sold through Computicket.
This is the power of a flagship event, it can draw visitors to our destination, as opposed to just be an entertainment option while visitors are in-destination, and is accompanied by spin-off benefit. This is especially true if special packages and exclusive rates are organised in advance to encourage participants to do so.
Apart from creating awareness and building the reputation of our destination through the promotion of these flagship events, our marketing and development efforts will put more emphasis on the creation and availability of these packages and special rates to entice visitors with the overall offering.
In terms of destination and event marketing, comprehensive promotional support has been given, with some of the main highlights a billboard at OR Tambo International Airport, seen by all who approach the Johannesburg airport for a period of a month; a Sawubona advert that was exposed to African and South African travellers on SAA’s routes for a month and during the Tourism INDABA, which attracts buyers from around the world; and extensive exposure on Ukhozi fm, to name only a few.
We look forward to an exciting Ugu Jazz Festival 2019 and hope to see our fellow South Coasters there in numbers too, as the event is open to all who love music! Certainly we are hosting a big media contingent, which will expand our exposure even further and set us up for an even greater event in the future.
We look forward to continued and constructive engagement regarding all tourism-related matters: [email protected] .