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SA tourists want sunshine and free parking

May 05 2014 15:30
Carin Smith
Cape Town - South Africans like hot and sunny holiday destinations and they like “doing nothing”, like relaxing on a beach, according Stephanie Boyle, Tripadvisor’s PR manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told Fin24.

“South African travellers particularly also want free parking,” she said.

Other trends include that travellers, especially the Millennials, are increasingly looking for free Wi-Fi.

Of course price still remains key.

“Hoteliers don’t seem to realize how much travellers like special deals,” said Boyle.

Tripadvisor is listed on the Nasdaq and has 260 million unique monthly visitors. There are 3.7 million businesses listed on Tripadvisor and more than 90 contributions are made per minute. About 500 million people view Tripadvisor content on sites other than Tripadvisor's.

About a month ago Tripadvisor also launched a localised domain for South Africa.

WTM Africa

Tripadvisor was one of over 350 exhibiting companies at the inaugural World Travel Market (WTM) Africa.

It took place last week at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and catered for both inbound and outbound markets.

“This has been the best show we've attended. We are networking with quality buyers and have over 500 appointments over the two days. We've even had a few go-shows already,” said Mark Collins, CEO Dreams4Africa.

The daily speed networking event which was aimed at introducing exhibitors to the right buyers for their business has yielded unexpected results for specialist Asian operator Khiri Travel.

“We liked the speed networking event and even managed to get a few leads before WTM Africa actually started,” said Manager Jack Bartholomew.

“The quality of buyers has been good and the event well organised.”

The conference and events programme which included sessions on business, technology, responsible tourism and the very trendy topic of travel blogging drew above-expected attendance. The line-up of events appealed to a broad spectrum of travel professionals, ensuring that everyone attending the show finds something of interest.

Responsible tourism

It was clear at WTM Africa that some of South Africa’s most innovative tourism products are also its most sustainable.

The Western Cape, for instance, presented its products to buyers and the press at a responsible tourism speed marketing session.

Products ranged from guided cycle tours of the Cape Winelands and running tours through Cape Town's Gugulethu suburb, to green cabs and tour operators assisting travellers with disabilities.

“Travellers are on the look out for stories and we have an opportunity to share everyone’s story in the mainstream environment," said tourism entrepreneur Ian Harris from Coffeebeans Routes.

Examples he gave range from the former Spier chef who cooks for travellers and educates them about the iShack project, to the Khayelitsha fashion designer and the Beer Route where visitors get to see traditional micro-brewing.

- Fin24

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tripadvisor  |  tourism  |  travel and leisure

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