Highs and lows

2017-06-01 06:01

LAST week saw us promoting at the Tourism Indaba 2017 during which it was announced that Durban won the bid to host this big event for another five years.

This is good news for us because we are then afforded the opportunity to host tourism trade and media tours either before or after the event. Costs to promote locally are way less than attending the show in say Cape Town or Johannesburg.

It was interesting to note that there was some interest in our area from agents from potential source markets such as China, Italy and Switzerland which previously had not cropped up on our international radar. Most of our long haul visitors originate from the United Kingdom and Germany so any expansion into new markets will be superb.

On the domestic front we also managed to get free air time on SAFM which gained us national coverage and the opportunity to plug our excellent tourism attributes including our dive tourism which was of interest to enquirers at the show.

On a low note the death of John Rudling in a flying accident last weekend is a sad loss to our tourism community.

John was previously a bed and breakfast owner and as a helicopter pilot he was generous in taking media and some of our personnel on the odd flight as a means of awareness of our destination and his services to visitors.

In 1980s Pietermaritzburg, I had the pleasure of teaching him and brother Bruce at high school so on my arrival here in 2013 it was great meeting up with him after so many years and from time to time having pint or two together after golf or at the Margate Flying Club.

To John’s family we extend our sincere condolences. He was a popular fellow in the tourism and aviation circles and will be missed by many.

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