Tourism – Report back from WTM in Cape Town

Plett Tourism’s newest product, the Plett HIGH Five adventure week, was launched at the World Travel Market® Africa 2019 (WTM) at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 10 – 12 April. Plett Tourism participated with the regional tourism body, Garden Route & Klein Karoo, as well as other Garden Route town LTO’s (Local Tourism Office representatives).

Thandi Mabukane (Plett Tourism) and Bukelwa Audrey Bonita (Hog Hollow Horse Trails) at The Plett Tourism stand at WTM Africa in Cape Town last week.

After returning from WTM, Plett Tourism has hosted tour operators and DMC (Destination Management Company) operators to highlight the Plett HIGH Five and to introduce Plettenberg Bay’s other unique selling points. These guests included African Pride Tours, Brazilian Adventure Blogger Juliana Rios, Consumer Links Operations, German Adventure Blogger Anja Kaiser, Pearl Adventures and Thompsons Tours.

WTM Africa is a fantastic platform to launch new products, to meet travel professionals and to experience the South African travel industry. With a vibrant, culturally diverse audience of tourism professionals, our four representatives increased brand exposure, generated new sales leads, strengthened existing relationships and closed new business.

This year’s event had an audience estimate of 5880 travel professionals and 724 exhibitors. The audience includes a mix of hosted buyers, media and invited travel trade visitors. Hosted buyers and travel professionals were from 55 different countries.

This was the first year for the independent Garden Route stand. It was very well positioned, had walk-in trade and ‘shared trade’ with other participating Garden Route products and LTO’s. Two Plett Tourism products accompanied the Plett HIGH Five at the stand, this included Ocean Sailing Charters and Hog Hollow Horse Trails, both drawing excitement and interest from tour operators.  

It was a successful WTM, Plett Tourism representatives interacted with more than 90 tour operators and 12 media representatives and influencers. In addition to our representation on the floor, representatives also attended several municipal and government travel trade seminars, workshops and presentations.

At present, we are involved with the organization of educational trips with select DMC operators, and are busy putting together unique itineraries. All travel trade contacts will be added to the Plett tourism quarterly ‘Business Briefs’ travel trade newsletter recipient and we will continue to engage with the new media contacts.

Intelligence gained from WTM Africa is very valuable; this included:

  1. Adventure tourism is on the rise; something to consider and to aggressively market in 2019.
  2. As a major tourist destination, South Africa has much to offer international and local travelers – of which 10.3 million and 17.2 million were recorded respectively in South African Tourism’s most recent annual report. 
  3. According to the Department of Tourism, tourism contributed R136.1bn (about 2.9%) to the total gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. The department also identified the potential for this sector to grow from around 1.5 million jobs to 2.1 million over the next decade. Innovative visitor experience design on the up for tourism growth.
  4. Tourists visiting regions with more attractions tend to stay longer. Although the Western Cape received only the third highest number of international visitors, compared to other provinces, visitors stay on average 14 days and spend almost double that of other provinces, according to the tourism annual report.

Plans for WTM 2020 include a larger 3 x 4m section for Plett Tourism as part of the Garden Route stand.  Building on the success of this year’s collective Garden Route visibility, the Garden Route presence in 2020 will extend to both sides of an entire row in the exhibition hall. This will include two activation areas for activity promotions and a food/beverage tasting area to promote the region’s olive oil, gin, wine, tea, etc.

For more information about Plett Tourism’s visit to WTM Africa 2019, email Patty Butterworth on projects@pletttourism.com.

 

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