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Cape Town kicks off tourism campaign at WTM

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This week marks the start of one of the largest international trade shows for the tourism industry.

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This week marks the start of one of the largest international trade shows for the tourism industry. The annual World Travel Market (WTM) 2011 taking place until November 10 is one of the leading global events for the travel industry and will be attended by some 48,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers, and international media. WTM provides a platform for tourism stakeholders, operators, agencies, and travel media from across the globe to meet, network, share global travel insights, and conduct business. It is, therefore, the perfect launch pad for Cape Town’s new international marketing campaign, which Cape Town Tourism introduced globally at WTM yesterday.

Unveiled locally at Cape Town Tourism’s Annual General Meeting in Cape Town on Monday, October 17, the bold new campaign is designed to complement the city and region’s broader economic strategy and align with the mandate of the soon-to-be-established Economic Development Partnership (EDP).

Said CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold: “Global best practice shows that the issue of demand will be addressed if we retain our existing successful initiatives but overlay them on a compelling global marketing and communications campaign – a campaign which takes Cape Town to the world in a bold and comprehensive manner. Despite the World Travel Industry Report that recounted that over a third (38 percent) of Britons didn’t take a holiday this year, the report back from trade partners like TUI, Thompsons, Flee Winter, and the Travel Group indicate that Cape Town remains a destination of choice with Britons.

“The new Cape Town campaign communicates every facet of what the city has to offer, from tourism and design, business and studies, to the rich diversity of people and nature. The campaign forms part of a comprehensive marketing strategy for Cape Town aimed at growing the demand for the Mother City by speaking to a wider audience in new and established international and domestic markets whilst aligning with other sectors beyond tourism.”

Top travel blogger Keith Jenkins from Velvet Escape said at the launch: “Cape Town’s vibrant urban mix is remarkable and unique. The combination of natural beauty and thriving innovation in tourism products means that Cape Town will remain a firm favorite of the European traveler, despite the economic recession that has severely affected travel behavior. Cape Town’s new campaign will appeal to travelers who are looking for a different take on traveling, visiting destinations that offer more than the expected.”

Said niche operator, Gerla Pusey-de Boer of EP Travel: “Cape Town’s new marketing campaign is based on a believable and collective destination identity, showcasing the complexity of a seen and unseen Cape Town. We look forward to working with Cape Town Tourism to promote the city to new and repeat visitors to Cape Town.”

Yesterday also saw the international launch of a new urban tourism marketing alliance between Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban. This alliance reinforces the message that urban tourism and city brands are high on the agenda of most modern-day travelers.

Cape Town Tourism, Johannesburg Tourism, and Durban Tourism have joined forces in a joint marketing agreement that consists of product and destination packaging, collaboration on events and trade shows, as well as shared collateral and online campaigns. It will also see collaboration on marketing and branding initiatives and knowledge-sharing throughout the three organizations.

In association with South African Tourism, the Three City Alliance will see a series of television programs that will showcase the liveability of South African cities, generating a greater demand for South Africa’s cities among the world’s urban travelers. Negotiations with Discovery Channel and National Geographic will see this series screened in all key traditional and new markets over a nine-month period, amplified with vignettes, advertising, promotions on television, digital and online platforms, in-market events (like photo galleries and retail displays), and print articles.

Lindiwe Kwele, CEO of Johannesburg Tourism said: “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, innovation, and freedom with a rich cosmopolitan culture set against the backdrop of unprecedented natural beauty.”

Phillip Sithole of eThekwini Municipality’s Business Support, Markets, and Durban Tourism added: “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.”

CEO of Cape Town Tourism Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold concluded: “Cape Town Tourism and its partners are committed to working with Johannesburg, Durban, and SA Tourism to showcase our energetic, dynamic cities – not perfect in any way – but cities in evolution that can be counted amongst the world’s cities of the future. In so doing, we believe South Africa and its urban centers can attract a much more substantial segment of the world’s urban travelers.

“Cape Town Tourism’s marketing campaign is about more than just attracting tourists. It’s about incorporating business and investment, the creative and innovation sectors and academia into one vision and direction for the city: economic growth, job creation, and inclusion to the benefit of all citizens.”

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.