Tri-city tourism initiative in South Africa

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Cape Town Tourism, Johannesburg Tourism, and Durban Tourism agree that cities are the lead brands for countries.

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Cape Town Tourism, Johannesburg Tourism, and Durban Tourism agree that cities are the lead brands for countries. Cities are globally recognized as the prism through which countries are viewed and are described as a country’s most durable assets. Cities have history, heritage that has stood the test of time, as well as promising developmental futures.

The three tourism organization met at INDABA this weekend to initiate a joint city marketing agreement between the three cities. Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban are South Africa’s economic and tourism hubs, and the joint marketing agreement will see them collaborate to maximize tourism development and marketing.

Out of the top 10 destinations in Tripadvisor’s Readers Choice Awards, nine were cities, of which Cape Town took the number one spot.

The joint agreement is the outcome of the three cities reassessing strategies and committing to go beyond the traditional to challenge compartmentalized marketing thinking. “Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban tell three very different and unique but complementary stories. I strongly believe that we add value to each other’s leisure and business tourism offering, and I think that this will also go a long way towards providing the prospective international traveler with a seamless impression of destination South Africa. The time has come for us to use creative and innovative ways to maximize the domestic and international leisure, as well as business tourism potential, for all three cities,” said Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism.

Lindiwe Kwele, CEO of Johannesburg Tourism, added: “All three cities have the confidence to define themselves in the minds of our markets. Johannesburg is a frontier city and personifies urban chic, achievement, and a sophisticated energy. Durban is diverse; a leading port city that exemplifies warmth and tradition. Cape Town is a city of inspiration, hope, and freedom with a rich cosmopolitan culture set against the backdrop of unprecedented natural beauty.”

The backbone of the joint marketing agreement will consist of product and destination packaging, collaboration on events and trade shows, as well as shared collateral and online campaigns aimed at the international and domestic markets.

The joint marketing forum will see high-level collaboration on marketing and branding initiatives and knowledge exchange on an executive level. They will look at improved city branding and how the unique offering of all three cities are being presented and packaged to both domestic and international travelers.

Phillip Sithole of eThekwini Municipality’s Business Support and Tourism concluded: “One of the secrets of a winning destination is for cities to realize that we are brands; that we should harness our assets. Positive perception, unique identities, authentic experiences, and a powerful story is the armory of a successful city brand. The joint marketing agreement is a formal recognition of our synergies and will go a long way to present a conducive and integrated city tourism experience for both domestic and international travelers.”

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