13 September 2012

Global online travel movers, shakers and trendsetters gather in Cape Town for the E-Tourism Africa Summit

THE E-TOURISM Africa Summit, a gathering of the most creative and pioneering tourism e-marketers in the world, kicked off this morning (Thursday 13 September 2012) in Cape Town.

William Price, SA Tourism's Global Manager: E-Marketing William Price, SA Tourism's Global Manager: E-Marketing

“New technologies and platforms keep marketers on their toes and you can only maintain optimum results by leading the charge and being part of the conversation with people at the cutting edge of the social and online media. This summit provides great company for us at South African Tourism to keep and we are looking forward to learning from, sharing with and working with the best and brightest minds in the world to grow arrivals to South Africa,” said Price.

THE E-TOURISM Africa Summit, a gathering of the most creative and pioneering tourism e-marketers in the world, kicked off this morning (Thursday 13 September 2012) in Cape Town.

A collaboration between South African Tourism, E Tourism Frontiers and Cape Town Tourism, the summit is a two-day gathering of social tourism powerhouses at the forefront of the insightful and creative conversation and trends in the world of online destination marketing.

Over 350 South African tourism businesses are attending the Summit as delegates, with major global companies such as Facebook, You Tube, TripAdvisor, WAYN.com and Expedia all participating at the summit, which is set to entrench South Africa’s status as global leaders in online tourism destination marketing.

“We have attracted a group of speakers who are the definitive word on e-marketing and social media in the world today. These are pioneers who lead the digital age; who understand trends and who are engineering how social media and lifestyle platforms influence travel, living and purchase decisions. It’s going to be a powerful gathering in Cape Town, representing a wealth of social media and travel intellectual property and intelligence,” said William Price, South African Tourism’s Global E-Marketing Manager.

South African Tourism has a powerful digital presence, which is set to increase in response to UNWTO estimates that 90% of all global travellers now search for and book their travel experiences online. “Social media is where people meet to talk about travel and about their favourite destinations. South Africa needs to be at the heart of this global conversation. We need to inform the conversation, steer it and be an integral part of it. Everywhere in the world that people talk tourism online, we want them to talk South Africa, which is why the E Tourism Africa Summit is so important for us,” said Price.

South Africa currently works with the most influential social media travel platforms in the world. Its partnership with Tripadvisor, for example, has delivered more than 23 000 forum topics about South Africa in the last year and close to 7 300 reviews of South African hospitality establishments by Tripadvisor’s global participant base.

South African Tourism and TripAdvisor have signed a unique three year partnership, helping to bring awareness of South Africa’s tourism qualities to the forefront of the 60 million travelers looking for inspiration when planning their next trip on TripAdvisor. This partnership includes new innovations, such as entering the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) hotel grading system on TripAdvisor. South Africa will also be the first ever destination marketing organization to have an interactive microsite live on DaoDao (TripAdvisor in China), along with a live interactive custom hub on Tripadvisor domains in their key markets: Australia, USA, India, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, which are all major markets for SA Tourism.

South African Tourism’s partnership with WAYN.com is equally impressive. The destination has 234 392 friends on the world’s largest travel-focused social media platform.

And in the last year alone, 188 452 trips have been booked to South Africa via SA Tourism’s online platform partners,  with 177 001 of these trips booked by foreign visitors who spent R655 million on flights and accommodation and a further R2-billion in South Africa.

“New technologies and platforms keep marketers on their toes and you can only maintain optimum results by leading the charge and being part of the conversation with people at the cutting edge of the social and online media. This summit provides great company for us at South African Tourism to keep and we are looking forward to learning from, sharing with and working with the best and brightest minds in the world to grow arrivals to South Africa,” said Price.

South African Tourism has sponsored the attendance at the summit of 100 emerging and small businesses in tourism to help them connect; meet with and exchange ideas with the heavyweights in global social media; and fast track their digital marketing efforts to grow their businesses and create much-needed jobs.

Some of the influential speakers at the E Tourism Africa Summit include:

South African Tourism Chairperson  Frank Kilbourn, who will speak on the contribution the digital and online environment can (and should) make to destination accessibility and growing tourist arrivals numbers

Damian Cook, founder and MD at E Tourism Frontiers, a business that has successfully trained hundreds of tourism professionals and has brought leading International experts and major travel firms and intermediaries to Africa to do business in tourism

Roel Spee, Travel Specialist for Europe, Middle East and Africa in Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook

Will Rocklin, Global product specialist at YouTube

Justin Reid, Director of Destination Marketing for Betapond, a Facebook Preferred Developer Consultant, that specialises in Facebook apps for driving engagement on the social media site

Helena Egan, Destination tourist board specialist at Tripadvisor and head of destination marketing for the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions

Mqondisi Gumede, Online marketing specialist at South African Tourism

Ross Kata, Airline, hotel and destination experience negotiator at Expedia

Jerome Touze, Co-founder and co-ceo of WAYN.com deeply involved in developing web 2.0 strategies and developments

Nick Paul, Global media manager at Travelstart. He oversees social interaction in six countries and has grown online communities from a following of 2 000 to over 120 000 across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest

 

The E Tourism Africa Summit is being held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on the 13th and 14th of September 2012. For more information, visit www.e-tourismfrontiers.com

 

 

Ends

 

Issued by South African Tourism

 

For further information contact

William Price at South African Tourism    

Allison MacDonald at Ireland/Davenport

Tel: +27 79 511 9229                                      

Tel: +27 82 771 2541    

williamp@southafrica.net                                    allison.macdonald@ireland-davenport.co.za  

Website www.southafrica.net

 

Register on our media extranet to browse the latest news releases (from SAT as well as the tourism industry in general), access the news archive and get details of all upcoming tourism industry events (both locally and internationally).

/media

             

South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for the marketing of South Africa as a preferred tourist destination. It is headed up by Chief Executive Officer, Mr Thulani Nzima; Chief Operating Officer, Mr Timothy Scholtz and Chief Marketing Officer, Ms Roshene Singh.