The Tourism Trade Show, Indaba 2011, held in Durban, has been and gone in a mad tourism flurry of visual displays, stand set ups, meetings, talking, activity, noise, networking, selling and fun – which is exactly what Cape Point Route went to Indaba to achieve.
The organizers unaudited figures show that 11 205 people passed through the exhibition turnstiles. Indaba 2011 focused on post World Cup interest in South Africa and the trends showed innovations in digital competitiveness on a global scale as well as a celebration of creative innovation and the people and the passion of the country.
Destination promotion and packaging was sought after by international operators and Cape Point Route worked strongly on this aspect of promotion with packages set up to teach Tour Operators how to package the area as a minimum 3 day destination and not a peninsula day trip. “Getting the Tour operators to re-sell their traditional day tours with interesting alternatives and activities was well received,” says Barbara Elshove-Schmidt of Cape Point Route. “The impact of highlighting the south peninsula in a bold effective collective is working though, with international visitors returning to the Cape Point Route stand for more information, in particular the Brazilian tour operators”
“Getting your message across quickly is imperative,” says Sally Grierson of Cape Point Route, “strong visual representation, eye catching display, clear concise information and a good ‘elevator pitch’ are crucial to capturing attention and achieving a sale”
Other activations are networking events. Exhibitors compete for the attention of the tour operators and industry personnel, by hosting functions. Cape Point Route hosts a wine evening every year and Indaba 2011 was no exception. One of the drawcards was the quality of the wine, which was sponsored entirely by Cape Point Vineyards. Snacks and platters were sponsored by Pick ‘n Pay Fish Hoek and R70,000 worth of prizes were given away in various weekend packages in the area. These prizes become educationals as the tour operator experiences the area personally to sell the region to his/her clients. Tim from Cape Sidecar Adventures says, “The Cape Point Route function is THE network function to attend – it’s the busiest, most vibey function with superb prizes and you get to meet great contacts.”
Cape Point Route shared a stand with Dirty Boots (a group of activity specialists around the country) and Johan from Dirty Boots said “Working as a collective, Cape Point Route has made a name for themselves. The orange t-shirts, flashdrives, vibrant stand, their boundless energy and the product knowledge of all the participants who attend Indaba with Cape Point Route has made the destination stand out in a crowd of incredible tourism destinations in South Africa – we were delighted to have their enthusiasm on the Dirty Boots stand”
Barbara adds, “I am so proud of the Cape Point Route group – working as a team for the region is critical and every participant was out there showcasing this beautiful destination in which we live and work and most importantly turning those contacts into business”. Lauren Kotoglu of Whale View Manor and Spa, commented “Going to Indaba with Cape Point Route made it so easy to get meetings because of my orange Cape Point Route t-shirt!” Peter Haarhof of Cape Photo Company, attending his first Indaba says, “It was phenomenal for me. I strongly believe that if you are in tourism and you do not attend, you are losing out big time and Barbara and Sally are so experienced in the industry that they help you through the process, which could have been overwhelming as a newcomer.”
Sally concludes, “As a group we offer good value packages with a difference. The south peninsula is a collective of like-minded businesses which operate ethically and professionally. The face of Cape Point Route extends to the people who work with us and these principles have been the recipe of our success. Whilst marketing methods might change, the essence of good marketing in tourism is about nurturing relationships, honesty, integrity, consistency and transparency and of course meeting expectations of the clients by under promising and over delivering.”