What does tourism do?

2018-04-05 06:00

IT is the ill-informed that ask this question, so here goes.

At the outset, our role is primarily to get the consumer to visit the Ugu District (under the South Coast brand) rather than go on the Garden Route, to the North Coast or any other seaside destination in South Africa. Once the consumer has decided to come here we provide platforms (i.e. website and Southern Explorer Route Guide) for them to choose where geographically on the South Coast they wish to go and then what places to stay at and which attractions to visit and experience. We achieve this via a comprehensive annual plan which is based on a tourism sector/local government crafted strategy which we have just updated to 2021.

These annual plans are audited each year to determine our performance and over the past two years we have achieved 100% and 98% in about 80 action categories we have to meet.

For example, based on this year’s plan and minimum targets, we will do the following:

• Maintain and operate 13 visitor information outlets throughout the destination.

• Subsidise the costs of publishing the Southern Explorer Route Guide to the tune of R600 000 to ensure that products and services can afford to be in the publication.

• Realise 280 editorial inserts in the media. . We will distribute over 40 tourism/leisure media releases in addition to creating our quarterly tourism newsletters.

• In the media, our targets are at least 20 TV or live-streaming exposures, 16 on radio and 30 on community stations. Our paid for advertising in regional and international publications is pegged at 71 and we will have profiled the South Coast through seven billboard placements.

• Our marketing campaigns hinge on two seasonal and eight niche market campaigns. We also promote at 18 consumer and tourism trade expositions. We host 10 media and trade tours to influence publicity and packaged sales through agencies.

• We support financially in excess of 30 events per annum. This excludes promotional support of many privately run events in our events calendar.

• Our development programme for youth, tourism awareness, enterprise and rural product development is comprehensive and Tourism KwaZulu-Natal wants us to share our expertise with other destinations. We fund each of our 12 Local Area Committees to assist in keeping certain infrastructure up to standard at strategic locations. We also sit on high-level tourism decision-making bodies in KZN.

I have just scratched the surface of what we do so I hope our functions are now evident. We urge enterprises to join our organisation. At R570 per annum, it assists us in doing what we are mandated to do.

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