17 April 2014 by Kate Els

Bloggers back to #MeetSouthAfrica ahead of INDABA 2014

After the successful launch of #MeetSouthAfrica in 2013, South African Tourism will once again host a group of bloggers from around the world to experience their South Africa and share with their loyal readers what they love about our unique destination.

A group of overseas and local bloggers are here to share South Africa with the world. Picture courtesy of Marisa Vasquez

The launch of #MeetSouthAfrica last year was a first for South African Tourism. We made sure that we crammed in every province and as many experiences that we could possibly manage during a 10-day period. We saw crocodile cage-dives, bloggers learning to surf, leopards strolling by in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, gorgeous scenery and wide open spaces, the charm of our small towns, and even bungee jumping off the Bloukrans Bridge in the Eastern Cape!

In 2014, 14 bloggers will once again traverse beautiful South Africa in search of the ideal activities, accommodation and destinations for their readers. The trip will take place between 2 May and 11 May 2014 and will see three groups have the time of their lives, sharing laughs with locals and imbibing in true South African hospitality.

'South African Tourism has always been known as a leading organisation when it comes to digital marketing, and this year will be no different,' says SAT CEO Thulani Nzima. 'We’re looking forward to hosting a new pool of bloggers that are eager to come and Meet South Africa, explore our destination and convey what they find back to the world.'

The three separate groups will be made up of a mix of both international and local bloggers known for their influence in the travel sphere. The groups will focus on three distinct themes – luxury, adventure, and culture and heritage – all the while paying homage to the celebration of 20 years of democracy in South Africa. We’ll even swing by a polling station on 7 May to show off our national election in progress and to make sure our local bloggers and hosts get the chance to cast their ballot!

Other activities planned for this year’s #MeetSouthAfrica include a look into local art galleries in Johannesburg; rafting down the Orange River in the Northern Cape; visiting the new statue of former president Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria; and a drive along the scenic Garden Route, stopping to find out more about the origins of the human race.

The bloggers included in this year’s campaign were selected through two means: international bloggers were recommended through the iambassador programme, which markets destinations and travel brands by utilising the social media influence and reach of travel bloggers; and a list of local bloggers was compiled and a shortlist made thereafter, from which five were approached to get involved.

It’s important for us to include local bloggers this year because we believe in the value they offer to the world in conveying how amazing South Africa is as a destination to visit for holiday or business. By including local bloggers, we hope that we contribute towards growing the local blogging scene and help raise the level of the community’s experience and professionalism.

Each of these bloggers, local and international, has a selective focus for their audience and will cover each activity from a personal perspective, offering the information they are intimately aware their audience requires. The collective content produced from the #MeetSouthAfrica trip will showcase the country in a broad and varied way that is only possible through the conduit of social media.

The 2014 #MeetSouthAfrica bloggers are:

The bloggers will all start in Johannesburg and move out to other parts of the country over the course of the week leading up to INDABA 2014. We’ll be following their every move through the use of the hashtag #MeetSouthAfrica, and have lots of exciting elements and activities planned.

Followers, readers and fans from around the world will be encouraged to participate through the use of the #MeetSouthAfrica hashtag throughout the bloggers’ stay in South Africa, with round-ups of the best highlights on this blog!

A competition will also be open to the public to show off their best shots of our beautiful country using the #MeetSouthAfrica hashtag on Instagram, with great prizes up for grabs. We’ll be posting further details about this over the next week on our various social media platforms.

To follow the campaign as it unfolds, in addition to following the hashtag, you can join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Some of this year’s activities include scheduled Instawalks – city walks with local Instagrammers who will show off their favourite photo spots – open to the public in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban; a bloggers’ cocktail event in Durban ahead of INDABA; and two panel discussions happening in the new TechZone at INDABA 2014.

South African Tourism first instituted its #MeetSouthAfrica Bloggers’ Campaign in 2013, with the aim of opening up a new form of communication with potential travellers looking for their next holiday destination. The campaign saw over 219-million impressions of the hashtag across various social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

For a quick recap of last year’s #MeetSouthAfrica trip, check out our video case study from 2013 below:

INDABA 2014 opens on 10 May. For more information, please visit http://www.indaba-southafrica.net/

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