Summer stats sizzle

2016-01-20 06:00
: Cooling down at MacArthur’s Pools during the summer holidays were (front) Sofia Eksteen (6) and Abigail van Wyk (6).  PHoto: WERNER HILLS

: Cooling down at MacArthur’s Pools during the summer holidays were (front) Sofia Eksteen (6) and Abigail van Wyk (6). PHoto: WERNER HILLS

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IN order to promote the attractions of Nelson Mandela Bay to a wider audience, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) has set a challenge for locals and visitors to the city during summer season.

Using the hashtags #ShareTheBay and #MyNelsonMandelaBay, participants are invited to capture and share their summer experiences with the world on social media.

The campaign was launched on December 1, 2015. With over 700 moments, stories and images already being shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the campaign is proving to be a huge success.

“We asked everyone to express their love for Nelson Mandela Bay by capturing their festive moments and sharing them with the world,” explained Mandlakazi Skefile, CEO of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism. “And the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Through this campaign NMBT has been able to share authentic experiences directly from other visitors and locals. Authentic experiences are more likely to motivate new and future visitors to the destination and the facilities.

NMBT welcomed scores of locals and visitors who flocked to the coastal destination to cool down at the beach and enjoy all the attractions and activities on offer.

As temperatures rose with little to no wind the destination provided great relief through the beach offerings and swimming facilities such as MacArthur’s pools and Splash Waterworld.

NMBT was fully prepared with information services on offer for visitors through the visitor information offices situated at The Donkin, The Boardwalk, Port Elizabeth International Airport arrivals, as well as in Uitenhage. In addition welcome desks were provided for all cruise liners docking as passengers disembarked.

Popular queries received at the tourism offices over and above those seeking accommodation were for activities and attractions.

Popular activities included Addo Elephant National Park, stand up paddle surfing hire, bicycle rentals as well as Route 67 guided walks.

“We were prepared for a busy summer holiday as Nelson Mandela Bay is fast becoming a destination of choice among travellers through providing convenience and accessibility to explore a variety of experiences,” said Skefile.

An increase of visitors was definitely noted through the tourism offices and accommodation occupancy numbers provisionally also reflecting a positive increase of visitors to the area.

The final numbers and tourism impact for summer will be available as of the end of January as we are still in the middle of peak season.

Tourism stakeholders and business have thus far reported an increase in trade. These include new additions to our city such as the Baywest mall as well as Uber who launched their convenient transport system at the beginning of December 2015.

“We are so excited to be in Port Elizabeth; the uptake since launching has been incredible. People are loving having an alternative choice in moving around their city, at a very affordable price point. We have really changed the way the world thinks about transportation and we look forward to continued growth in PE,” confirmed Samantha Allenberg, spokesperson for Uber PE.

As per Fayroush Ludick, Regional Manager: Communications, SANParks, “Addo Elephant National Park outside Port Elizabeth, noted a 4.4% increase in visitors – from 27 601 in December 2014 to 28 815 last year. The park also registered an 18.6% increase in the number of activities sold, up from 3 061 to 3 629. The Park’s entrance gate along the N2 just outside Colchester, Camp Matyholweni, continues to attract more visitors due to its accessibility from PE. Gate entry figures increased by 13% over the corresponding months.”

To keep up with the trend, search for #ShareTheBay and #MyNelsonMandelaBay on social media sites.

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