What do you think is the most visited tourist attraction in South Africa?
I’ll tell you later.
I’ve been reading a few articles on local tourism this weekend. I stumbled across a “report” about trends and I noted that it was mostly a clever punt for a few businesses who had shared their views on recent trends. It reminded me that much in the way of travel information on the web is more advertorial than independent, helpful info for travellers, or even for the travel industry.
Ever wondered, as I have, why foreign tourists in their hundreds go stay in THAT place, eat THERE or use THEIR tour, when there is better value available as well as nicer or more authentic options? Some of this is about deals done with operators by travel agents, online booking sites and information ages on the web.
Travel agents will often have a few places and operators on their books that they like to punt because of the percentage agreement, because they have paid to advertise on their site or sometimes just because they don’t know about other options. This is the same on line, the place where trends tell us more travellers go to look and book.
We also find plenty of inaccurate and misleading information on line. Just like the estate agents will describe a house as being in a smarter suburb than where it really is, we find places being described as “near the Kruger” that are several hours drive away, some are said to be in the Kruger when they are definitely not.
So back to the beginning. According to SA Tourism’s annual report for 2016, the most-visited tourist attraction in SA was the V&A Waterfront with 1.1m visitors, followed by Cape Town CBD with 1m visitors, Cape Point with 862 000, Sandton City with 818 000 and Table Mountain Cableway with 786 000 visitors.
Sandton City surprised me!
How can we in the Lowveld get a greater share, especially our dear White River?
Well there’s the obvious one of having a good product to start. I love the “Slowveld”, but sometimes the level of service is like drying paint whilst management remains disinterested.
The other key area is getting information out there and making sure it is accurate and helpful. Can travellers find you in the place where most are now looking? How are you represented on line compared with the competition? How active are you on social media? This is foreign territory for some, but lag behind at your peril. It’s not too difficult to get on board and there are people to help.