Business & Finance

Port Elizabeth Speed Marketing Session Boosts Local Tourism

Tourism product owners, from East London to the Tsitsikamma and as far inland as Cradock, gathered in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa and received a boost to their destination marketing efforts when the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) and South African Tourism (SAT) hosted a Speed Marketing Session at The Boardwalk Hotel on 21 November 2013.

“It was a pleasure working so closely with SAT and, on behalf of SATSA Eastern Cape, I’d like to thank SAT for having the faith and confidence in the Eastern Cape.” said Vernon Wait of Pembury Tours and the Chairperson of the SATSA Eastern Cape Chapter.

The Speed Marketing Session workshops are a SAT/SATSA partnership initiative, which began in 2009, with the first one being held in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.

Since then approximately twenty have been convened around the country, namely; White River, Hazyview, Tzaneen, Mopani Camp in Kruger Park, Johannesburg, Clarens, St Lucia, Hartbeespoort Dam (NW), Hermanus, Montagu, George, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Port Elizabeth, East London, Bloemfontein, Howick, and twice in Durban.

The next two workshops currently being planned for early 2014, will possibly be held in Paarl and the Drakensberg.   There is no charge for product owners to present to buyers but space is limited, so participation is handled on a first-come-first-served basis.

The Speed Marketing workshop concept was designed to identify and expose important but lesser-known products, such as hotels, game lodges and key activities and/or attractions in each province to a group of influential hosted buyers (approximately 25 SATSA member tour operators, accompanied by SAT and SATSA staff members) for the operators to include in the itineraries they design mainly for the international market.

The workshops endeavour to line up 50+ presenters for a one day session, where they get 5 minutes to tell the buyer group about their unique selling points, the operators are able to ask questions before moving on to the next presenter.

“In Knysna and Port Elizabeth, presenters were allowed to hand in short presentation clips ahead of the time, which were managed properly and it worked very well,” says Jenny Mewett, SATSA’s Chief Operating Officer.    If there are more than 70 presenters, we have the option to continue for another few hours on the second day.  Presenters are advised that they should bring business cards and brochures, but they are also welcome to put up their own banners at the back of the venue and can bring laptops to show presentations or pictures to the buyer group over lunch or tea breaks, but they are responsible for their own equipment” says Mewett.

Affording opportunities for the buyer group to personally experience the destination is important and is provided for by the host destination. “At the end of day one, the group is hosted by the town/city to a networking dinner, sometimes at another venue from where the workshop has been held, to showcase what’s available.  Day 2 often includes site visits to interesting new products.

Keeping presenters connected to buyers is extremely important. “The tour operators are given a list of the presenters contact details and likewise the presenters are given the tour operators details, so that they can contact each other after the event” concludes Mewett.

For more information contact SATSA on +27(0)11 886 996

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