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US Media Group starts up in SA, makes local acquisition

Morris Visitor Publications (MVP), publisher of visitor magazines, maps and guides for the international and domestic leisure and corporate traveller markets, recently announced that it has registered Morris Visitor Publications (Pty) Ltd in South Africa. MVP also announced that it has acquired Brochure Management Services South Africa.
Chris Manning, MD of MVP in Europe for the last decade sees South Africa "as a natural fit for the groups' global business. Now is the ideal time to look for strategic opportunities on the southern African subcontinent. The region is one of the world's favourite tourism destinations and the tourism industry is a major contributor to local economies, achieving close to double-digit growth each year. MVP continues to grow, expand and lead the markets in which we are active and Africa will be the fifth continent where the Morris Group has opened up operations."

Morris Visitor Publications is being headed locally by Paul Vos, a 20-year publishing industry veteran, who has had spells at Time Magazine and The Economist, and also ran a five-star guest house in Melville for eight years. "I'm looking forward to renewing my relationship with Chris Manning and starting a new journey with MVP in sub-Saharan Africa," Vos said. "Chris and I worked together successfully at Time Magazine in the late 1990s, when Chris was the associate publisher for EMEA. Together we hope to introduce a number of MVP products into the local tourism marketing industry, opening up markets in Europe, the UK and other countries for South African operators as well as looking at other strategic acquisition and growth opportunities." Vos will be based in Joburg.

First acquisition

Commenting on the Brochure Management Services South Africa acquisition, Manning said: "Further to our recent announcement about registering Morris Visitor Publications (Pty) Ltd in South Africa, we are very pleased to reveal our first major acquisition in the market. As I've said, South Africa is a natural fit for our global business and this is a major strategic opportunity for us to enter the southern African subcontinent - and hit the ground running."

Brochure Management Services SA or BMSA (www.brochuremanagement.com) was established in Cape Town in 1995 and today has a network of 19 independently owned franchises distributing tourism information to around 6500 destinations countrywide. A world-class operating system ensures that clients receive detailed and accurate information on the distribution, movement and replenishment of their brochures at their selected display sites. The franchise network and number of sites ensures there is flexibility in display options to suit the scope and scale of every budget and marketing strategy.

Paul Vos, MD of Morris Visitor Publications in sub-Saharan Africa, will head up Brochure Management Services South Africa and said: "MVP understands the visitor market better than any other global publisher, so their investment in Brochure Management represents a major sign of faith in the South African economy and the local visitor market."

According to Vos, brochures are a vital part of the tourism marketing mix, speaking directly to customers at the critical point where they are making a buying decision. Research has found that over half the people who take brochures report that the brochures have influenced their purchase or plans, in some cases influencing people to change their plans while travelling. Vos concluded: "Brochures form a critical part of an integrated marketing strategy and are an extremely cost-effective and high-impact advertising solution."
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