Based on the US Attractions Management Conference, the inaugural South African Attractions Management conference will open in Cape Town at the Old Mutual Conference and Exhibition Centre at Kirstenbosch on 4-5 June 2014.
African and global experts will discuss challenges and trends such as staffing, seasonality, online ticket sales and other attractions-specific learnings. It is targeted at such attractions as Ratanga Junction, the Cape Town Big 6 (Groot Constantia, V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch, Cape Point, Robben Island, Table Mountain Cableway), the Apartheid Museum, SANParks, Gold Reef City, Monkeyland, The World of Birds and leading wine estates like Spier, Boschendal, Lourensford, Spice Route and Vergelegen.
"Some southern African attractions are capturing record visitor numbers, while others are slowing or stagnating in popularity; the conference is an opportunity for us as an industry to share our knowledge so we realise South Africa's full tourism potential," said Sabine Lehmann, MD of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company and the driving force behind the conference.
"In South Africa, attractions managers tend to go to conferences related to the industry they represent - so zoos go to zoo conferences, aquaria go to aquaria conferences. They are not going to attractions conferences where they can learn from one another.
"This conference will give attraction managers from theme parks, aquariums, game parks, botanical gardens, museums and wine estates, the opportunity to discuss challenges and solutions specific to attractions - such as managing the flow of visitors, the seasonal nature of the industry and how to retain good staff despite seasonal demands."
The event is modelled on the US conference that attracts 30,000 people to Orlando each year.
Craig Allenby and Clifford Nxomani (National Zoological Gardens of South Africa): What can we learn from visitor research studies? Jillian Grindley-Ferris (Scarlet Wing Consulting): ?To babysit or not to babysit: creating a family centric attraction Sabine Lehmann (Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company):? The good, the bad and the ugly of on-line ticket sales: a case study Avinesh Pillay (Google):?Travel, trends and ticket sales: what can Google tell us? Tony Rubin (Maropeng):? Creating magic: the link between employees and the visitor experience Craig Saunders (Harties Cableway, Monkeyland and Elephant Sanctuary):? Small visitor numbers and how to make them work Kate Turkington (author, travel writer and travel correspondent Talk Radio 702/Cape Talk):? Setting the scene: what makes a good attraction? A traveller's viewpoint Chris Webster (Wink Associates, UK) Monetising the visitor journey and delivering maximum guest value: competing or complementary objectives? Carla White (V&A Waterfront):?The little blue bird of chaos: crisis management in a digital age
Early bird registration fees are R3,000 before 23 May 2014, thereafter R3,750. This includes entry to the 2-day conference, presentations and trade display area, lunches, refreshments, morning and afternoon teas and the Conference Networking Social on Wednesday 4 June 2014.
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