Marketing the South Coast

2017-03-23 06:03

AT a recent public forum, a member of the public who is not involved in tourism made a comment that there is insufficient marketing of our destination which got me thinking that those who do not see what is actually done may have the same inaccurate sentiment.

To begin with if most of the advertising, promotions, media exposure and consumer/ trade communications takes place here we are playing in the wrong park.

Our job is to bring people here from outside Ugu District to maximise our tourism revenue yields.

Most of our promotional work and paid for advertising is geared towards responders, readers, market segments and niches in the most likely­ source areas, i.e. Gauteng, the Free State and the rest of KwaZulu-Natal.

It is little wonder that locals incorrectly feel that marketing is limited, we are out there where the customer is found.

So to help those not involved in tourism (our members get updates on a regular basis) here are some audited facts from the 2015/2016 financial year.

During that period we:

Advertised 83 times in various publications (South Africa and abroad) and/or online platforms, promoted at 22 important consumer/trade shows, initiated no less than 78 media releases and realised no fewer than 132 publicity outcomes.

Fifteen billboard-type exposures were achieved and we were part of a team that strategically distributed some

100 000 Southern Explorers the greater South Coast’s official tourism route publication which is also heavily subsidised by our organisation.

We also hosted 15 South African and foreign media teams and five familiarisation tours for tourism trade influencers, realised 12 radio exposures, paid for two specific radio advertising campaigns and secured 13 positive TV slots/exposures.

In comparison with other similar destinations we were by far more brand and destination evident in terms of our marketing actions - so much so that two provincial bodies have recently approached us to try and seek ways to have mutually beneficial relationships.

Within KZN we are considered the most consistent and omnipresent marketer other than Durban which is an accolade in itself.

I hope this sampling of what we do can assist our public in realising that we are ever active in promoting our wonderful area.

Should members of the public wish to receive regular updates on what we do we recommend that they join our organisation by contacting Nokulunga Radebe on memberships@tourismsouthcoast.co.za

And the work continues as we promote­ our approaching autumn season and the South Coast Bike Fest.

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