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27 September 2011

Western Cape product owners to benefit from NTD

The Western Cape’s smaller product owners’ exposure on the National Tourism Database will give them an opportunity to showcase their products alongside more established players in the local tourism industry.

Calvyn Gilfellan, Cape Town Routes Unlimited CEO Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of Cape Town Routes Unlimited

Small product owners now stand a real chance of increasing their competitiveness in the marketplace. - Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO, Cape Town Routes Unlimited

Western Cape product owners are to be the first in the country to benefit from exposure on both national and provincial tourism websites as part of the National Tourism Database (NTD).

The National Tourism Database enables small businesses to upload information about their services and products onto the NTD, which was designed to assist the South African tourism industry in meeting the needs of potential tourists while giving small product owners the same exposure as larger concerns.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation points out that over 80% of all travel decisions are based on online information and the National Tourism Database will make it much easier for tourists to plan their activities.

Alan Winde, Minister for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism for the Western Cape, says there are major benefits to the collaboration, not least of which is showcasing the province's tourism products, from the well established to the newly emerging, on the World Wide Web.

'Collaborative efforts such as this one are crucial if we want to continue to stimulate growth in the Cape Town and Western Cape tourism industry,' he says.

Destination marketing organisation Cape Town Routes Unlimited CEO Calvyn Gilfellan is excited about the NTD integration project.

'The Western Cape is the first province to share South African Tourism's Content Management System. The NTD is geared at specifically providing online access to small product owners and emerging entrepreneurs. Small product owners now stand a real chance of increasing their competitiveness in the marketplace,' he says.

William Price, South African Tourism's Global eMarketing Manager, says the National Tourism Database has been an integral part of the redevelopment of www.southafrica.net, South African Tourism's primary online marketing platform.

'We’ve recognised the online support the online travel researcher needs to decide where to go, what to do and where to experience it,' Price explains. 'The NTD remains a key focus for us post 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and partnering with the provincial authorities, as well as local and regional travel organisations, means we are able to connect online consumers with the travel trade providers directly.'