Tourism highlights of the past year

2017-09-13 06:02
The 2016 Sapphire Coast Tourism committee at the AGM (from left) Monique De Kock (outgoing chairperson), Romy Wenzel (vice-chairperson), Kim McCarthy, Cllr Andre Beetge (representing South Durban Business Forum, Ilana Kleingeld and Louise Oosthuysen.Photo: tania sandberg

The 2016 Sapphire Coast Tourism committee at the AGM (from left) Monique De Kock (outgoing chairperson), Romy Wenzel (vice-chairperson), Kim McCarthy, Cllr Andre Beetge (representing South Durban Business Forum, Ilana Kleingeld and Louise Oosthuysen.Photo: tania sandberg

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DESPITE funding challenges the Sapphire Coast Tourism Committee thought out the box, maximising on their limited budget to brand and market our beautiful Sapphire Coast, outgoing chairperson, Monique De Kock reported at the AGM, on Saturday, September 2.

“In July last year Sapphire Coast Tourism partnered with the Fever newspaper and we launched the Sapphire Coast Photo Competition. We invited amateur photographers, holidaymakers and community members to enter their photographs,” De Kock said.

She said the aim behind the competition was to increase the amount of photos Tourism has to use in their marketing material and website.

The aim was also to create a calendar to market the region that can either be handed out or sold and to encourage community participation and involvement in order for them to be Sapphire Coast Tourism ambassadors.

“Due to the overwhelming response and amazing entries we received, we have decided to launch a new competition that started on September 1. The year 2016 also saw us upgrade the Sapphire Coast Tourism website - the upgrade has allowed the website to be more informative and visual­,” De Kock said.

Other projects completed included:

• installation of branded volleyball poles and nets at Amanzimtoti Main Beach, Winkle Beach, Baggies Beach and Warnadoone. We have been so pleased to see holidaymakers and community members making use of these;

•updating all the map boards; and

•new branding equipment, branded shirts and promotional items were ordered.

Durban Tourism again hosted the CTOs at the indaba. Sapphire Coast Tourism showcased Diving at Aliwal Coast as well as Umsinsi Adventures in Lower Illovo.

“One of our main strategies the past few years has been to promote and set up branding at local events. We have partnered with local events that attract visitors to the town, put bums in beds, and feet into restaurants and attractions.

Through Olivia Jones Communications we have offered PR to the following events: Toti 69ner that was held in July 2016; Kuswag Karnival – August 2016; Goss and Balfe Sapphire Coast Marathon- October 2016; Toy Run- November 2016; Winkle Toti Winkle Race - December 16; December Holiday Campaign; Dick King Marathon- April 2017; Highland Gathering and Lifestyle Expo - April 2017; Mighty Men Conference and the Dafco Urban Challenge that was recently held.”

De Kock said they also set up Sapphire Coast Tourism branding at all these events and a few other smaller events that were held over the past year. The idea behind branding at events is to welcome people from far travelling in for the event and to get our brand noticed and remembered.

She thanked the committee women for volunteering their time to attend these events to set up and take down branding and all the members who contentiously sponsor vouchers and goodies for us to giveaway as prizes during the holiday campaigns.

Without your contributions, these campaigns would not be the success they are.

In closing De Kock shared her hopes and vision for Sapphire Coast Tourism.

“I hope to see the Sapphire Coast CTO grow from strength to strength, encourage more tourism establishments and products to join the CTO and therefore grow our membership. I would love to see community involvement as well as for the community to have a better understanding of who we are and what we do. I would also like to see community organisations work hand in hand achieving the same goals.

“Lastly, my hope is for more of the members to come on board to serve on this wonderful committee. It takes many hands to keep this ship sailing, and we could do with more hands on board. Let’s all become Sapphire Coast tourism ambassadors - it starts with you.”


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