The Knysna Accommodation Association (KAA) will continue to actively market, advertise and promote its members collectively. This was confirmed when the cooperative elected to remain an independent, membership-driven tourism association during a Special General Meeting held on 17 April.
“Our primary purpose is to promote each of our members via our very popular website,” said spokesperson Colleen Harding. “The dynamic site at www.exploreknysna.com holds a wealth of information for tourists and the trade alike. One of the site’s best components is the 14-day availability Nightsbridge feature that puts Knysna’s available beds at your fingertips.”
“As all our members enjoy the same benefits, the trade also has direct, convenient access to information on restaurants and activities in Knysna. This makes it easy to plan a whole trip to Knysna from one place: our website.”
“We know that the only way to keep tourists in our area for longer is to keep them well-fed and entertained,” said Colleen. “As we recognise these enterprises as vital role players within our tourism economy, we have specifically designated membership categories for restaurants, activity providers and other businesses associated with the tourism industry.”
The association has a very active online presence that not only promotes its members and the area but encourages the widespread dissemination of information through sharing with the popular #exploreknysna hashtag. “Members of the trade are welcome to follow us and engage with us on social media,” Colleen continued. “Our social media guru has struck the perfect balance between marketing and information sharing.”
Colleen said that as the tourism marketing landscape had dramatically changed in Knysna over the past few years, it was important that the industry knows that there is a local organisation actively looking after its members’ interests. Members include B&Bs, guest houses, self-catering establishments and, more recently, activity providers and restaurants. “The KAA has been active for over 15 years – and is committed to actively marketing its members.”
“We are very happy that Wesgro and Knysna Municipality have signed the service level agreement that mandates Wesgro with marketing Greater Knysna as a destination, as well as managing Visit Knysna, the tourism information centre. The KAA enjoys a very good relationship with both Wesgro and Visit Knysna. While theirs is not a membership-based organisation like the KAA, we know that Wesgro excels at destination marketing and look forward to Greater Knysna being marketed to South Africa and the world as the fantastic holiday and investment destination we all know it to be.”
The KAA also has its members’ practical issues at heart: committee members from the association often meet with Knysna Municipality’s Economic Development and Finance Departments to discuss matters relevant to its members; the KAA regularly engages with entities like Nightsbridge, Expedia and Booking.com to facilitate meetings and workshops within Greater Knysna; it holds scheduled business and networking meetings with a variety of relevant guest speakers; and circulates newsletters regarding local and national tourism developments, legislation, trends, statistics and more to its members.
As tourism remains the main contributor to Knysna’s economy, the KAA has long been regarded as a valued member of local business. “We look forward to continue supporting Knysna’s business community and to be a part of any future efforts in marketing our town,” Colleen concluded. “But, for now, the KAA remains committed to promoting its members. And we look forward to working with the trade in order to do so.”
Like and follow the Knysna Accommodation Association on Facebook (ExploreKnysnaSouthAfrica), chat with them on Twitter (@exploreknysna) and check them out on Instagram (ExploreKnysna). Visit www.exploreknysna.com or email email@example.com for more information.