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9 July 2012

Tourism growth tops agenda at Western Cape tourism meeting

Western Cape tourism stakeholders and South African Airways recently gathered to discuss how they could cooperate to bring more travellers to the province.

Theunis Potgieter, SAA's Commercial General Manager. Theunis Potgieter, SAA's Commercial General Manager.

Cape Town and the Western Cape are crucial to and an integral part of SAA’s overall approach to marketing the airline and South Africa - Theunis Potgieter, SAA Commercial General Manager.

Wesgro (Western Cape Destination Marketing, Investment and Trade Promotion Agency) recently hosted a meeting of various tourism stakeholders to find innovative ways to grow tourism to the Western Cape.

South African Airways (SAA), the City of Cape Town, tour operator stakeholders and members of the conference and transport industries attended the meeting.

The gathering examined current global marketing activities. It explored new approaches in leveraging the province's multiple attractions to boost tourism growth. Participants also discussed ways to further strengthen cooperation in marketing Cape Town and the Western Cape as premier South African destinations.

Although a wide range of joint activities internationally was proving successful in bringing leisure and business travellers to Cape Town, it was agreed that more could be achieved.

Theunis Potgieter, SAA Commercial General Manager, said Cape Town and the Western Cape were crucial to and an integral part of SAA's overall approach to marketing the airline and South Africa.

'We are seeing significant visitor growth from elsewhere in Africa, and from South America, Asia, and Australasia, and are responding accordingly by deploying our aircraft capacity to those growth markets,' he said.
 
The carrier plans to host similar workshops with tourism and business travel stakeholders in other regions of South Africa in the coming months.
 
'As a national asset and the backbone of South Africa's air transport infrastructure, we are very pleased to contribute our global insights, visibility and reach in forging partnerships to the benefit of the country's growth in leisure and specialised tourism,' added Potgieter.

Nils Flaaten, Wesgro CEO, said the round table discussion had enabled key role players to identify fresh marketing opportunities on the newer routes SAA was developing as well as a mechanism for future cooperation.

'We are thrilled that the next International Air Transport Association AGM will be held in Cape Town next year, bringing the world's airline chiefs and 350 travel and air transport journalists to Cape Town. This will give the Western Cape tourism industry a massive boost,' he said.