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AAfter a recent trade hosting visit, it was clear that this route has so much to offer the local traveller. Trade hostings play a vital role in fostering and building a relationship between key tourism players, and that in turn drives knowledge about what is available in the industry. Trade members discovered the charming Garden Route during a successful domestic trade hosting where they interacted with local SMMEs and the people who make the Garden Route extra special.
Trade hostings create the platform to foster vital relationships with smaller enterprises that are competing in a large market. For this reason, experiencing establishments, restaurants and activities first hand means that local operators are better able to sell, market and promote with an honest and enthusiastic viewpoint. Tour operators, accommodation suppliers, restaurants and adventure tourism providers showcased what makes them distinctive during this tour. Trade members were encouraged to interact and recognise how best to promote product offerings in order to better market and package the Garden Route. Kaloti Nazare, STA Travel says: "The trade show hosted by South African Tourism made me realise once again how and why local is lekker. Because we are in our home country, we tend to take what it offers for granted. Why bother with expensive visa costs, language barriers and long-haul flights when we have beautiful landscapes, people, cultures and amazing food right on our doorsteps! I dare you to be a tourist in this beautiful country, you won't be disappointed. Local is lekker and you know it!”
Over three days, a variety of tourism facilities presented what they have to offer to local operators who are responsible for packaging and selling the area to tourists. Adventure activities and accessible stops are the focal point for the towns along the route, yet it is evident that the entire area is making an effort to work together ensuring that growth and development is taking place, making it a great road trip for travellers.
What emerged out of this trade-hosted tour is that accommodation is cosy, friendly and hands-on, and everyone is committed to the finer details in places such as Cape St. Francis, Tsitsikamma Village, and the Knysna Premier Hotel. You can eat your way through each town at quaint home-style eateries and restaurants. The dinner cruise on the Knysna Lagoon and the Tsitsikamma Segway Tour were highlight activities during the tour, and an afternoon spent exploring the Donkin Reserve and the Wilderness Nature Reserve should not be missed.
To enquire about upcoming events and trade hostings, please contact Melanie Leloup:
Tel: +27 11 895 3037