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November 16, 2009

In search of South Africa’s top three tourist spots

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Boulders Beach, photo courtesy Damien du Toit

Google and South African Tourism are on a search for the top three tourist locations in South Africa this summer.

The two organisations have come together to bring images of South Africa’s best attractions to the people using Google’s Street View application, which was launched in South Africa on September 1 this year.

Because some of the best places to visit are not always accessible by car, the Street View images will be collected using the Google Trike, which comprises three bicycle wheels and a mounted camera. It comes with a very fit cyclist, who will be hard to miss in his branded apparel.

The companies have drawn up a shortlist of 20 locations to choose from. Now it’s up to you to vote for the places you would most like the Trike to visit. Once the votes have been tallied, the top three locations will be the first visited – and photographed – by the Trike.

This is the chance Capetonians have been waiting for to show the whole country the beauty of Simon’s Town, Boulders Beach, Newlands Cricket Stadium, Chapman’s Peak and many more of Cape Town’s top 100 attractions.

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Chapman’s Peak, photo courtesy Damien du Toit

Google South Africa head Stephen Newton recognises the value of the Trike to South Africa.

“This has been a hit for tourism around the world and now we want to make it even better for showing off South Africa’s history, nature and culture,” says Newton. “The Trikes are designed to go down footpaths and tracks to collect images of areas of natural beauty or tourist sites.

“We want it to be a really fun, new aspect of the website. Users will be able to virtually tour historical monuments or scenic locations before visiting [them] – or check out which side of a football stadium they need to be on before leaving the house.”

South African Tourism’s Roshene Singh says the partnership with Google will draw attention to South Africa’s diversity ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

“The new Trikes will help showcase even more of South Africa’s unique travel offering and we look forward to enthusiastic voting from the public,” says Singh.

The Trike will be available for a short time during the summer. Once it has finished its journey, the images it takes will be made available on Google Maps’ Street View.

Vote for your favourite location from this selection:

  • Moses Mabhida Stadium
  • Newlands Cricket Stadium
  • Kruger National Park
  • Blyde River Canyon
  • Cathedral Peak
  • Addo Elephant Park
  • Simon’s Town and Boulders Beach
  • St Lucia/iSimangaliso Wetlands
  • Maropeng and Sterkfontein Caves
  • Mandela House, Hector Pieterson Memorial and Soweto highlights
  • Isandlwana, Rorke’s Drift and the Valley of the Zulu Kings
  • Bloemfontein Houses of Parliament
  • Franschhoek Winelands
  • Apartheid Museum
  • Big Hole, Kimberley
  • Tsitsikamma National Park
  • Chapman’s Peak and Cape coastal panoramas
  • Constitution Hill
  • Golf course highlights
  • Durban Waterfront

For more information on this initiative and voting, visit www.google.co.za/trike. To access information from your cellphone, visit www.google.co.za/mobile/trike.

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