The Greek philosopher Herakleitos (Heraclitus) of Ephesus foresaw the future when he said “The Only Constant In Life Is Change.” Without change all things wither into a state of what the Greeks called ‘atrophy’, or withering away.
At Tourism Tattler, change has certainly avoided atrophy. We have come a long way since the media title’s humble beginnings in the 1990’s as an internal newsletter for SATSA members. Back then, the Tattler consisted of just 12 pages, in single colour, and a quarterly print run of under 1,000 copies.
In 2003, Tourism Tattler was registered as a publishing company with the aim of growing the magazine’s circulation to a broader travel trade audience with more in-depth and relevant editorial content. It became a glossy journal, still covering SATSA’s affairs, although that role became more the domain of the weekly, and latterly fortnightly, SATSA RAP newsletter. Tattler became more representative of the broader African travel trade industry, encompassing other travel trade organisations such as RETOSA, NAA-SA and SHTA, who adopted the media title as their official trade journal, with more associations coming onboard soon.
With the advent of digital publishing, the Tattler’s reach has spread throughout Africa and globally, where the publication is valued as an information and knowledge resource for tourism professionals. The Tattler now has over 28,000 subscribers located in every continent in the world and in 34 of Africa’s 55 countries (AU member states).
Readership now exceeds 30,000 with social media linkages accounting for the difference. In terms of subscriber profiling by travel trade sectors, 43% are “DMC” (Tour Brokers, Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Adventure Operators, Transport Operators), 38% Accommodation (Hotels, Lodges, Guesthouses, Attractions) and 19% are in the Travel Trade Service provider category.
With global readership, language preferences became a priority, but with the introduction of the journal’s content being published as blog-style articles on the Tattler website since November 2012, Google Translate has overcome the language barrier. It’s interesting to note that of our Africa-based subscribers, 69% are English, 19% French, 7% Arabic and 5% Portuguese speaking.
Over the next few months, readers will see the Tattler evolve yet again to better reflect the media title’s change from magazine publishing to content management and distribution.
New innovations to be launched include; Mobi Apps, a searchable travel trade directory with Google Maps integration, a PR self-upload feature for Trade News and Accolades, an Affiliate Referral Programme and Email Marketing Services. The next phase in our evolution will include an online travel community network, aimed at profiling Africa’s wealth of tourism products, facilities and attractions to both inbound and domestic travellers alike.
We look forward to sharing these innovations, which are aimed at growing Africa’s tourism industry and enhancing your businesses marketing efforts.