6 May 2013

INDABA Travel Bloggers Conference – changing the face of destination marketing

South African Tourism’s INDABA will be hosting a historic first Travel Bloggers conference on the eve of the show, attended by some of the world’s most influential international and local travel bloggers.

Aerial view, Durban's ICC The Durban ICC

The bloggers are covering fashion, lifestyle, travel and food, and are currently touring the country on four different itineraries crafted to expose them to a broad spectrum of activities, experiences, attractions and accommodation that South Africa has to offer. – William Price, Global Manager of E-Marketing at South African Tourism.

South African Tourism’s INDABA will be hosting a historic first Travel Bloggers conference on the eve of the show, attended by some of the world’s most influential international and local travel bloggers.

At the INDABA Travel Bloggers #MeetSouthAfrica event, the bloggers will unpack the changing face of destination marketing and the importance of personalised, user-generated content and social media engagement and its impact on the tourism trade. There has already been a phenomenal response to the Bloggers conference, taking place at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium this Friday 10 May, with the event already being oversubscribed, with 300 confirmations received in just 48 hours.

At least 15 international bloggers will attend the conference. Among the bloggers represented will be @Traveldudes, @VelvetEscape and @Landlopers, from the influential iAmbassadors network of leading travel bloggers from around the world. Some of the bloggers have visited South Africa before, while for others, it is their first time in the country.

Included within the total number of international bloggers is a contingent of bloggers from South Africa’s watchlist markets including Spain, Argentina and Switzerland. On the first weekend of their #MeetSouthAfrica blogger tour, the bloggers have already uploaded hundreds of tweets, images, blogs and video, capturing in real time the wide diversity of tourism experiences, and the warm locals that they have come across on their South African tour.

These blogger’s stories are set to considerably increase awareness of South Africa and encourage potential travellers to seriously consider South Africa as their next holiday destination.

“The bloggers are covering fashion, lifestyle, travel and food, and are currently touring the country on four different itineraries crafted to expose them to a broad spectrum of activities, experiences, attractions and accommodation that South Africa has to offer,” says William Price, Global Manager of E-Marketing at South African Tourism.

The itineraries cover: Cape Town to Durban via the Garden Route; Cape Town to Durban via the West Coast; Johannesburg to Durban via the Free State and Johannesburg to Durban via Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

The bloggers’ experiences during and after their trips this week, and the reach of the campaign in record time, will be part of what they share with the trade at the bloggers conference.

“The bloggers will reveal how they ‘met’ and interacted with South Africa’s people to convey an intimate, personalised story about our beautiful destination. Through their extensive networks, their #MeetSouthAfrica experience will reach an audience of hundreds of thousands worldwide in real time. The sessions at the conference promise to be enormously informative, innovative and entertaining,” says Price.

The #MeetSouthAfrica hashtag is already actively in use on Twitter, with bloggers and travel trade joining in the conversation during this week’s tour. Video responses and blogs have been posted by bloggers ahead of their trip indicating the excitement and the potential online exposure that will be generated by #MeetSouthAfrica over the coming weeks.

The Blogger’s Event takes place on the afternoon of May 10, from 14h00 to 18h00 at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

To join the conversation and share your favourite South African travel and tourism experiences follow us at #MeetSouthAfrica and #INDABA2013.

For more information on INDABA and for details on how to register to attend, visit www.indaba-southafrica.co.za.