Cape Town and Durban launch global National Geographic marketing campaign

Cape Town Tourism and Durban Tourism have finalised a marketing project with National Geographic as part of an agreement to partner marketing of the two cities. Cape Town and Durban are South Africa’s leisure tourism hubs and the National Geographic campaign is the first of a collaborative series of international activities set to promote South Africa’s urban tourism offering.

The integrated campaign will see Cape Town and Durban feature across all National Geographic platforms for a period of 14 months, between April 2012 and June 2013, and will include a series of TV vignettes focussed on the unique sounds of each city, an array of international National Geographic Magazine editions including National Geographic Traveler US, online editorial on, a social media and digital campaign, as well as an event in London or Washington DC.
The focussed target markets for the campaign will be in accordance with the two cities’ primary tourism source markets of the United States, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa (and, through DSTV, into Africa), India, China and Australia.

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 their cities. In a world where cities, rather than countries, are the true players in a competitive global economy, culture is extensively being recognised as a facilitator of economic and urban progress. A city’s culture and liveability is key to generating a creative environment that attracts the investors and talent to stimulate economic development. With 70% of South Africa’s tourism product offering situated within the country’s urban areas, the National Geographic campaign will focus on iconic tourism attractions, as well as unexpected experiences and hidden gems within each city. The campaign will showcase the diversity and multiculturalism of each city and tell unique stories about the destinations through the eyes of its citizens - local ambassadors who will unlock the distinctive culture of each city. 

Phillip Sithole of eThekwini Municipality’s Business Support and Tourism says, “Durban and Cape Town add value to each other’s leisure and business tourism offering and the National Geographic campaign will demonstrate the unique touch points of each city. The campaign is formal recognition of our concerted efforts to present an integrated city tourism experience for both domestic and international travellers.”

The National Geographic campaign is the outcome of bold steps by each of the participating cities to commit to going beyond outmoded ways of thinking about marketing and to challenge compartmentalised thinking. CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, says, “Prosperous cities of the future will be stand-out urban centres seen as the most liveable and enjoyable places on the planet - places that will deliver benefits to residents and visitors alike. Cape Town and Durban tell two very distinctive but corresponding stories. The National Geographic campaign is the first urban tourism collaboration of its kind in South Africa. We sincerely believe it will highlight our leisure tourism potential in our key source markets."

Some of the Durban locations and elements to be featured will include the uShaka Marine World, the Juma Masjid Mosque, the Victoria Street Market, Gandhi's house and the Phoenix Settlement, as well as the Tala Game Reserve. Cape Town locations and attractions will include Boulders Beach, Robben Island, District Six and Woodstock, the wine regions, BoKaap and Table Mountain. The campaign will have the key message that a world of experiences can be had in two South African cities. Durban’s story will be told as a leading port city with a warmth and tradition that is rooted in Africa and Asian influences, while Cape Town’s unprecedented natural beauty will form the backdrop of the depiction as a city of inspiration, design and innovation where creative freedom reigns.

As part of the 2013 editorial calendar, National Geographic Channel will also be producing a 1-hour documentary about the two cities.

For further information, please contact Cape Town Tourism’s PR and Communication Manager Skye Grove, +27 021 487 6800, email or see

Released for Cape Town Tourism by Rabbit in a Hat Communications, Tammy White, +27 021 448 9705, +27 073 202 5041,

Useful links
Website: Cape Town Tourism 
Facebook: I ♥ Cape Town 
Twitter: @CapeTownTourism 
YouTube: Cape Town Tourism

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