Nelson Mandela Bay is currently hosting the South African Youth Travel Confederation (SAYTC) Conference #YTC2017 which brings together youth from around the country to participate in dialogue and future opportunities for the industry during Tourism Month under the Tourism Month theme, “We do tourism sustainably.” Representation from across the country includes the Western Cape, Garden Route, Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, and Gauteng - the focus routes for the youth industry.
Aiden Lawrence (SAYTC Eastern Cape Chair) and Titus Chuene (Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism Marketing Manager) at the first day of the South African Youth Tourism Confederation Conference 2017.
SAYTC Eastern Cape Chair, Aiden Lawrence shared: “I’m very excited as this is the largest SAYTC conference and is being hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay for the first time. We are ready to showcase the dynamic youthful energy and small businesses offerings in the area and hope the conference will encourage more national and international lengths of stays in the destination.”
The first day of the programme which commenced on 12 September 2017 at Werk Space-Chicky’s Yard in Baakens Valley includes registration and is then dedicated to showcasing Nelson Mandela Bay to delegates who will visit various attractions that highlight the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass. The second day, 13 September, will be at Summerstrand Hotel, where robust panel discussions will take place. Whilst the third and final day, 14 September, will involve a Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) speed marketing session at the same venue.
Discussions will include topics that affect the current situation in the youth tourism market such as the economic state in South Africa in tourism; domestic and international youth travel market, bridging the private sector with government, development agencies and tourism bodies, and social and environmental: moving the industry forward, to name a few.
A focus on social development
As the structure at this year’s conference is focused on social development, it has included the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) as an important part of the first day of the conference.
The ECDC will host a workshop aimed at all entrepreneurs and staff from the youth tourism sector. The workshop is designed to be an engaging interaction with stimulating group discussions. It will be a speed marketing initiative, to give front-of-house/frontline staff an opportunity to engage directly with business owners, government representatives, young entrepreneurs and activists from across the spectrum of the tourism industry.
Youth tourism in SA
The South African Tourism Annual Report of 2016 showcases that the sector received 3.3 million visitors (travellers under 35), who on average stay eight bed nights and spend an average of R8,900 per trip. Furthermore, youth tourism in SA represents approximately 35% of domestic trips with 45% of youth travellers arriving from international destinations.
Nelson Mandela Bay offers diverse activities for such as sandboarding for youth to enjoy that are affordable and accessible through purchasing the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass.
The conference brings together, youth tourism industry representatives, providing them with a marketing platform where various stakeholders are invited to be exposed to the youth travel industry in South Africa. Through this interactive platform, delegates will be participating in a networking session organised by SATSA in collaboration with SAYTC.
“We find it important to create a space where youth travel is encouraged in the Bay, and have created a platform through our #ShareTheBay campaign to fast-track engagements with the youth travel sector,” confirmed Titus Chuene, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism marketing manager. This year the conference has expanded the vision to involve a diverse group of delegates, bringing together an entrepreneurial spirit. The conference is also envisioned to showcase the crucial role the Eastern Cape plays in welcoming tourist as well as showcasing the diversity that exists.
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