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Cape Town Routes Unlimited

Online travel campaign to bear fruits for Cape Town & Western Cape

REPORT – BERLIN – ITB 2008: The rise of Cape Town and the Western Cape province of South Africa as a favoured leisure tourism destination is set to be accelerated by the recent signing of a significant Joint Marketing Agreement (JMA) with UK-based travel operator, lastminute.com, by the destination’s official marketing…

REPORT – BERLIN – ITB 2008: The rise of Cape Town and the Western Cape province of South Africa as a favoured leisure tourism destination is set to be accelerated by the recent signing of a significant Joint Marketing Agreement (JMA) with UK-based travel operator, lastminute.com, by the destination’s official marketing organisation.

The JMA was announced at the leading travel trade show, ITB, in Berlin, Germany (5 – 9 March 2008), by Calvyn Gilfellan, acting chief executive of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, the official tourism destination marketing organisation for Cape Town and the Western Cape province.

“The JMA with lastminute.com plays an essential role in encouraging the growth of visitor volumes, spend and yield, ultimately helping to increase destination brand awareness in some of our core markets such as the United Kingdom, USA and especially Germany. It takes our often limited marketing budget and resources so much further and stretches the value of our marketing initiatives.

“This growth will help us achieve our objective of making the Western Cape the world’s foremost travel destination, and ensuring tourism reaches its potential as a key driver of economic growth and social transformation in the province.”

Under this JMA, a number of marketing activities will focus on the three target markets, the UK, Germany and the USA, until the end of May. The campaign activities include dedicated Cape Town and Western Cape travel landing pages, destination branded messaging in these markets and a competition element in the UK market.

Gilfellan notes: “We’ve already experienced immense success with this joint marketing activity and online campaign.  In the combined 38 days that the campaign has been live on the UK, US and Germany websites, the offer had 712 185 page impressions and 3 932 hits. This is quite remarkable and excellent exposure for our destination.”

He adds that the Internet exposure in the target markets is crucial: in a German study of sources for “potentially interesting holiday destinations”, 34% of respondents used travel websites.

The natural beauty of South Africa remains the major draw-card for visitors, according to a monitor quantitative research study done by South African Tourism, with 91% of German respondents expressing an interest in viewing wildlife, 89% an interest in South Africa’s natural beauty and 72% wanting to see its mountains.

Given Cape Town and the Western Cape’s globally unique natural features and flora species, these will continue to be vigorously promoted at ITB, says Gilfellan. The destination boasts an eclectic blend of people and places against a backdrop of awe-inspiring scenic wonders, pristine beaches and a proud heritage of cultures and traditions.

Another hugely popular South African tourism activity, wildlife experiences, will also be promoted to the European market at ITB. A game-ranger – the winner of the SA Tourism Wildest Ranger Competition – will recount his wildlife experiences, and visitors to the country’s stand at ITB will be able to win safari holidays in South Africa.

The story-telling ranger will form part of a campaign in Germany promoting eco-tourism and cultural tourism.

Podcasts will be recorded throughout ITB by media to be posted on YouTube and southafrica.net to tell South Africa’s great stories and generate interest.

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