South African Tourism visits the Eastern Cape as part of countrywide road show
“The Connecti9ns road show gives us the opportunity to to reconnect with the people on the ground who actually make tourism happen in every corner of this country – our provincial tourism authorities, and, importantly, our tourism product owners.” Thulani Nzima CEO South African Tourism
week SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM visited the Eastern Cape, as part of the
‘Connecti9ns’ road show, which will see the destination marketing organization visit
all of South Africa’s nine provinces this year.
The purpose of the road show, which is being led by its Chief Executive Officer Thulani Nzima, is for the national destination marketing agency to meet with provincial and local tourism industry counterparts to discuss tourism trends and to personally experience old and new tourism products.
The Eastern Cape is the second stop on this road show, which kicked off in the Western Cape in April. The road show, which is taking place from 5 – 7 June, is being hosted in partnership, and at the invitation of the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, enabling South African Tourism the opportunity to get first-hand knowledge of the tourism products on offer in one of South Africa’s most beautiful and diverse provinces.
This three-day visit also included talks with Eastern Cape provincial tourism authorities and key industry stakeholders on the region’s tourism challenges and opportunities; as well as South African Tourism’s consumer insights.
“The Connecti9ns road show gives us the opportunity to to reconnect with the people on the ground who actually make tourism happen in every corner of this country – our provincial tourism authorities, and, importantly, our tourism product owners. It’s an opportunity to say thank you for the great work they have already done to grow tourism in this country (with South Africa boasting growth in international tourist arrivals of over 10% last year) but importantly it’s an opportunity to find ways to work even closer together to continue to grow and develop the tourism potential of this country,” said Nzima.
Nzima shared South African Tourism consumer insights which point to increasing numbers of international tourists looking for authentic, personal and heartfelt travel experiences with the locals in the countries to which they travel and said that the Eastern Cape was the province that was setting itself apart in this regard.
“The Eastern Cape has the best of what South Africa has to offer – the opportunity to walk in the steps of a global icon, Nelson Mandela; to attend Africa’s largest arts and culture festival in Grahamstown, and to spot Africa’s “Big 7” all in their natural habitat. It’s also the province where you can explore more than 1000 km of unspoilt coastline, boasting two of the top 100 beaches in the world, Coffee Bay and Jeffreys Bay, according to a list published by CNN Travel*last week,” said Nzima.
Nzima said that the Eastern Cape also responded well to the needs of domestic travelers, who are looking for variety and affordability as well as opportunities to connect, to explore and to relax.
He also pointed to the success the province has had in using events and festivals, to showcase South Africa’s music, arts, culture and lifestyle and to bring tourists, especially domestic tourists, to the province out of season.
“Our challenge as a country is to stimulate our domestic tourism sector which has not recovered from the recession in the way that our international tourist arrivals have. We need to tell our domestic tourists that they don’t need to get on an airplane to experience the world’s best beaches, you can do it right here in the Eastern Cape. Neither do you need to leave the country to get away from it all or to experience another way of life, for a city slicker parts of the Eastern Cape are a world away from what they are used to,” said Nzima.
“We’re very excited to be hosting the South African Tourism delegation on this familiarization trip to the Adventure Province as this allows us to show them first-hand what the province has to offer in terms of some of our salient selling points. This way they can help us market the province from a point of first-hand experience,” said Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, Mr. Luxolo Rubushe.
This was the second in a series of provincial visits by South African Tourism. The ‘Connectio9ns’ road show will be taking place in the remaining seven provinces throughout the year, with the next road show set to take place in Gauteng.