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Facilitation and promotion of travel packages

Cooperation between the Western Cape, Seychelles and Mpumalanga

The combining of three iconic and very diverse destinations as a single tourism prospect will be formalised at the signing this week of a Memorandum of Understanding between Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU), the Seychelles Tourism Board and Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Agency. One of the outcomes of this agreement will be the facilitation and promotion of travel packages abounding in diversity as they combine the tropical island experience of the Seychelles, the scenic splendour of an African Safari experience in Mpumalanga and the vibrancy, colour and diversity of one of the world’s most beautiful cities and regions – Cape Town and the Western Cape.

The agreement has just been signed at the world’s largest travel and tourism exhibition ITB, taking place from 10 March 2010 to 14 March 2010 in Berlin, Germany. As part of the agreement the parties will facilitate and promote joint packages highlighting the unique selling points of the Seychelles, Mpumalanga and Cape Town and the Western Cape. The parties will share information to improve their respective marketing strategies as well as collaborate on marketing campaigns and travel trade promotions in order to increase their share of the global market. This agreement is effective until 31 January 2013. Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of CTRU, the official destination marketing organisation for Cape Town and the Western Cape, says, “This agreement makes perfect sense – the three destinations offer unique packages and together will make a significant impact on common international markets. Tourism professionals must, in the current economic climate with changing travel patterns, innovate and work together to capture and claim the customer’s interests.”

The collaboration comes at a time when Air Seychelles is extending its services to include a weekly flight to Cape Town. The airline will from 21 March 2010 operate a flight from the Seychelles via Johannesburg to Cape Town in response to increased visitor interest in combining a vacation in South Africa with one in the Seychelles.

“Mpumalanga will be complementing the experiences offered by both Seychelles and the Western Cape to the South and North American Market, including Europe. This arrangement provides an opportunity to position Mpumalanga as the safari and adventure tourism destination to these markets. The Latin American region is an emerging market for Mpumalanga and we will be using this platform (ITB) to, amongst others, engage with the travel trade to design and develop packages that will incorporate the product offering of Mpumalanga," says Charles Ndabeni, CEO of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency.

Joseph Belmont, vice-president of the Seychelles, heading the Seychelles delegation at ITB said that his country is happy to be associated with its mainland neighbours in South Africa. “It is in Africa working with Africa that we shall be strong in promoting our continent to the world”. The island’s Director of Tourism Marketing Alain St Ange, who signed the agreement on behalf of the tropical islands said, “South Africa, Cape Town and the Western Cape and Mpumalanga are ideal associates for the Seychelles in joint promotions. We complement each other and the diversity we are offering as tricentre destinations is hard to beat”. Bernadette Villemin, Seychelles Director in Europe who witnessed the signing ceremony said, “in today’s tourism environment it is important that we synergise all our marketing efforts and our resources to drive business to our respective destinations.”