From the CEO: National Geographic – a year later

One of the greatest legacies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was the awareness created around South Africa’s cities – for the first time, many would-be travellers from around the world realised that South Africa has more to offer than beauty and wildlife.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s research shows that up to 80% of international tourists are in search of urban tourism – exploring rich and different cultures and experiencing a country through the entry and viewpoint of cities.

A city’s culture and liveability do not generate an environment that attracts only investors and talented people to stimulate economic development, but also travellers seeking memorable and unique experiences.

In 2011, we partnered with Johannesburg Tourism and Durban Tourism to establish a city tourism alliance that would enable us to work together on campaigns with South African Tourism to promote South Africa’s dynamic cities.

One of the initiatives undertaken was a global media campaign that commenced in April 2012 between Cape Town, Durban Tourism and National Geographic.

The brief was to showcase a multilayered Cape Town set against a breath-taking, beautiful backdrop with a rich historical and cultural diversity – a liveable, dynamic city with a fascinating story and a hopeful future that will entice and capture the hearts and minds of visitors.

In essence, the aim is to encourage the world to re-evaluate Cape Town and Durban and see these cities as 21st-century relevant ‘liveable’ cities – interesting places to live, work, visit, study and invest in.

The integrated campaign includes the following online and offline electronic and printed elements:

  • In April 2012, Cape Town Tourism hosted Andrew Evans, National Geographic’s digital nomad, in Cape Town. Andrew travels the world and digitally tells stories about the places he experiences and the people he meets. He has a very active blog, Twitter feed and Facebook page through which people from around the world follow him and engage with the content he posts on an almost hourly basis. Andrew spent 10 days in Cape Town and is also the narrator of the documentary. His Twitter conversations of Cape Town during the 10 days of his visit reached more than 2.8-million readers, and his Twitter following increased by 2 000 during his time in Cape Town.
  • Cape Town was featured in two full-page articles and one double-page article in the international National Geographic magazine. The themes covered were nature, food and wine, as well as the World Design Capital 2014. The magazine editions covered were Europe, the United States, China, India, the Middle East and Australia.
  • An online campaign and city guide to Cape Town is currently running on nationalgeographic.com. The city guide is a one-stop guide to Cape Town and aimed at first-time and repeat visitors to Cape Town.
  • A 60-second vignette showcasing Cape Town as one of Africa’s top travel destinations has been showing in the United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands and Africa for the last eight months. The vignette is called “The Sounds of the City” and focuses on Cape Town’s unique sights and sounds as experienced through the eyes of a visitor. The vignette will be shown a total 834 times until the end of the campaign.

The documentary showcases the diversity and multiculturalism of Cape Town and Durban and tells unique stories about these cities through the eyes of citizens who unlock the distinctive culture of each city.

The programme will be airing on the National Geographic Channel from May 2013 for six airings in: UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Africa, India and Australia. It will also be aired on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild in the US.

Keep an eye on the Cape Town Tourism Twitter feed and other social media platforms as we confirm the exact date of the premiere.

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