Sunè Greeff and Glenda Kitley during the Tourism Indaba in Durban
There was a quite a lot of negative reporting and press regarding Indaba before the event so it was with trepidation that I packed my bags and joined Sunè Greeff (Whale Coast Tourism Marketing Manager) on the plane to Durban. Cape Whale Coast was once again on the Wesgro stand along with the other Western Cape regions.
The Cape Whale Coast stand which won a gold award for the most eco-friendly stand
This year the stand was open and inviting and won a gold award for the eco-friendly stand design. Many favourable comments were received. As is normally the case Saturday (first day) was reasonably quiet for us but from Sunday Sunè and I really got down to business and both Sunday and Monday were good days for us. Sunè, of course coming from a strong Tourism background knows many people in the industry so she met with a number of media, tour operators, bus companies including Hilton Ross and Springbok Atlas, and other role players in the industry. For the most part I remained on the stand, chatting to those who came by and that is also important as it is people who come to look for a Whale Coast representative because they want to “do business” with us. I also met and chatted with “old” contacts and renewed some that had fallen by the way side.
The interesting "Pokon" which made all relevant contact information available by touching each others "pokon"
A new innovation from the organizers this year was - Indaba connect. Each and every representative, delegate, buyers and media received a little “pokon” and thus by touching each others pokons all relevant contact information was exchanged. (You can imagine the remarks and jokes that this elicited but it was another way of going green!) Some of us that do not trust this new technology just yet still exchanged business cards. A great number of Whale Coast maps were handed out as well as a number of CD’s with all member product owners details. S A Forest Adventures and Wesgro had a rather fun but valuable activation going all day on the stand. Each region was given a different colour band. Visitors to the stand had to collect 5 different coloured bands - by representing each region on the stand. This gave us an opportunity to tell them about our area. Then they went to the “jeep” where they were given a 3D experience of all the Western Cape activities. It was of course very popular and a wonderful marketing tool. Three functions were held on our stand - the first one on Saturday evening arranged by Wesgro and included the minstrels (genuine Cape Town ones), genuine Bo-Kaap curry and other foods and visitors were given a brief introduction to what we in the Western Cape are all about -must not forget to mention the wine tasting! West Coast and the Winelands also had stand activations on the Sunday and Monday afternoons respectively. Although these are “social" functions it is a wonderful opportunity to still network as people are relaxed and informal discussions take place which lead to good connections.
Cape Whale Coast products at Indaba - Dyer Island Cruises, Grootbos, Marine Dynamics, Misty Waves Hotel, Mosaic Farm, S A Forest Adventures, Schulphoek, Southern Right Charters, The Potting Shed, The Windsor Hotel and White Shark Projects. Thus the conclusion - another successful Tourism Indaba!