Statistics South Africa has officially released arrival stats for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the report notes a marked increase in visitors from the USA and South American countries, as well as from the UK, Australia and Germany. Now Cape Town Tourism intends building on the 2010 legacy.
For June alone the top three overseas markets were: the USA, up from 22 573 visitors in June 2009 to 44 894 in June 2010; the UK, up from 35 636 to 40 903; and Australia, up from 6313 visitors in June 2009 to 16 106 in June 2010.
Whilst Cape Town Tourism's focus before and during the World Cup was on proactively representing and shaping perceptions of our destination in the international media, the focus has now shifted to strengthening travel trade relationships and working to highlight travel experience packages in the European and American markets.
Nurturing tourism trade; closer ties
To this end, Cape Town Tourism has appointed the services of a travel PR agency in the USA, Imagine Communications, who will maintain Cape Town Tourism's focus of fostering closer ties with travel journalists and, very importantly, secure and nurture new tourism trade relations between the USA and Cape Town. Cape Town Tourism is positive that the number of outbound USA travellers to Cape Town will increase over the next few years and has hailed the appointment of a USA representative, in addition to three current representatives in key European markets, as an important step in cementing the perception of Cape Town as one of the places of a lifetime.
Gabriele Klink, owner of Imagine Communications says, "We are thrilled and excited to represent one of the most iconic destinations in the world. Our goal will be to take advantage of the amazing coverage generated for Cape Town during the World Cup and continue to grow arrival numbers from the US. This is the perfect time to push Cape Town in the US market and to leverage the awareness of the destination in the minds of American travellers."
Imagine Communications is based in New York and is said to bring to the table an exceptional network of trade and media relations in the US, years of destination marketing experience, as well as a dedicated team that consists of highly knowledgeable staff; including the previous Marketing and Communications Manager for SA Tourism in the US market.
Adopt a sustainable outlook
Most countries who have staged mega-events warn of tourism slumps after the fans go home and Cape Town Tourism has mandated all their European and US PR partners to adopt a sustainable outlook, focusing on the legacy potential of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. These partners are tasked with building trade networks within the tourism sector, providing insight and research into public perceptions in their specialist markets and managing media relations.
CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, says, "Investing in communications partners in our key source markets is crucial to Cape Town's success in the years to come. We look forward to the insight they can give us on what their markets are looking for when travelling and being our eyes and ears on the ground. Moreover, we anticipate greater opportunities to build ties with those overseas operators and agents that will assist us in strategically growing our tourism arrivals base. Managing expectations is essential to the overall visitor experience and this new PR agreement will help us bridge our communications into an absorbent, intelligent and highly organised US marketplace."
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