The 6th Annual E-Tourism African summit had taken place in cape Town Which started on the 9th and will come to a close on the 10th September. This summit was arranged to show and inform the tourism industry how to take full advantage of the growing market of the digital use and social media ecosystem.
The summit was hosted by the e-Tourism Frontiers who then where in partnership with South African Tourism. Who had established a well marketed image of South Africa.
“The online environment has yielded phenomenal results for our destination” Say Thulani Nzima the Chief executive officer at South African Tourism. The Event is starting to gain recognition with in South Africa and is slowly becoming a highlight in the tourism Calendar.
“A number of years ago we took the decision to imbue digital into the core of all our marketing efforts , and investment, as part of a deliberate strategy to position South African Tourism as a leading destination marketing organization , that has high levels of direct engagement with our core markets” said Nzima
South Africa has been able to position its self on the web as a strong and dominant player with a great online presence on travel platforms such as TripAdvisor and WAYN.com . A high figure of R770 million annually are generated from online sales.
One of the other features that helped the country develop in its tourism presence is the south African website. It alone has been able to get more than 3.2 million visits a year, which has helped influence people to go to South Africa.
“It’s all part of our determination to ensure our marketing investment is fully informed by research insight and is therefore consumer-centric delivering the right information to the right person, in the right format, at the right time” Nsima says
In 2012 over 200,000 people booked their trips on line to visit South Africa. With the help of other player to help with the transaction and booking of tourist in all south Africa was able to generate R790 million for their economy. Out of the 200,000 a total of 186,000 had booked international visitors.
With in South Africa Cape Town was voted as the Global Destination City of the year and cape Town with in the year Topped the Tripindex rooms of the service which it offers .
South Africa has the largest following present of any social media travel community platform WAYN.com which is supported by over 415,000 friends.
The Enlightenment of the social media community:
With a strong online presence on the sense South Africa has a Facebook and a Twitter page whcih have over 747,000 friends and followers. People and businesses keep track of what is happening with in the country and pay attention for new opportunities that might arise in the future.
Digital marketing is not the only thing that South Africa has up their sleeves but there is more. A Varity of high –tech digital tools are used to improve the level of engagement between the tourism industry. Such things are the INDABA connect.
The #MeetSouthAfrican bloggers Conference that tock place at the INDABA 2013 helped provided valuable insight into how bloggers are able to improve and help promote the country. Bloggers have insight and also a following that they are able to maneuver and direct people to visit.
“Digital marketing continues to evolve at lightning speed” Nsima says. She also implies that” our commitment is to remain on the cusp of this curve and engages meaningfully with people, listening to them and responding accordingly. South African Tourism is determined to go where our consumers go and to be the benchmark of destination marketing success”
If there is anything that South Africa can do is to teach the rest of Africa how to market tourism within the different destinations. Every country is unique but if you don’t know how to market that uniqueness you stay behind. The Image that is given out is the image people are expecting to see. Countries need to figure out their own marketing techniques and understand how to market their country. But if anything South Africa should teach the other countries to not only move with the times but to improve and improve on their marketing techniques.
Biz-Community (Cape Town)