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March 06, 2009

Cape Town Tourism out in full force at ITB and IDE travel expos


Camps Bay, photo courtesy Neil Howard

March is proving a busy month for the international marketing of Cape Town, with two large travel trade events giving the destination a chance to show off its authentic, value-for-money experiences and natural beauty.

Cape Town Tourism will represent Cape Town at IDE (International Destination Expo) from 8 to 11 March 2009. IDE is an industry expo which will showcase South Africa to members of the ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents). The ASTA is the world’s largest association of travel professionals, which includes travel agents and hospitality-related business stakeholders operating in the USA.

ITB (International Tourism Bourse) in Berlin takes place from 11 to 15 March 2009 and Cape Town Tourism will again be there to market Cape Town to an estimated 180 000 trade visitors. ITB has been running since 1966 and is one of the world’s top travel trade events.

As a member of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) Destination Council, Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, has been invited to present Cape Town’s marketing and visitor services strategy to an international audience. Cape Town Tourism is considered a world-best industry association and in the context of the economic and climate challenges faced by the international tourism industry, the powerful relationship between the private and public sectors becomes more and more relevant in finding innovative and sustainable solutions.

Both ITB and IDE are excellent platforms for Cape Town to showcase its alluring world class tourism offerings ahead of the FIFA 2010 World Cup. In a market that is currently ultra budget-sensitive, Cape Town offers more authentic experiences, more luxury and more natural beauty combined with a richer cultural offering than many of its competitors. This whilst also offering an excellent and world-acclaimed tourism infrastructure, an innovative and thriving creative economy and good service balanced with real value for money.

Germany and USA are two of Cape Town’s primary source markets so these shows are timeous and strategically important. In particular, it is very fortuitous that IDE has chosen South Africa for its 2009 destination.

“Cape Town is gearing up for a big 2010 event but we must not lose site of the fact that these are challenging times in our industry. Not only are people rapidly changing the way they choose a destination and what they do when they reach that destination, but they are very aware of what value they need to get for their money. We are in an exceptionally competitive phase where relationships are key to ensuring that Cape Town’s tourism industry can weather the storm,’’ says Cape Town CEO, Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold.

“Engagement with these key markets is essential to push tourism trade. We have prepared ourselves to market Cape Town aggressively, but very creatively and in close partnership with our provincial marketing agency, Cape Town Routes Unlimited, and the industry, at these forthcoming shows to ensure that the trade and the media keep Cape Town top of mind and top of the list for 2009 and 2010.”

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