Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) was prepared to welcome scores of locals and visitors who flocked to the coastal destination to cool down at the beach and enjoy all the attractions and activities on offer. As temperatures rose with little to no wind the destination provided great relief through the beach offerings and swimming facilities such as MacArthur’s pools and Splash Waterworld.
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism was fully prepared with information services on offer for visitors through the visitor information offices situated at The Donkin, The Boardwalk, Port Elizabeth International Airport arrivals as well as in Uitenhage. In addition welcome desks were provided for all cruise liners docking as passengers disembarked.
Popular queries received at the tourism offices over and above those seeking accommodation was for activities and attractions. This is where Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism was adequately prepared and able to offer the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass. The Nelson Mandela Bay Pass is an access card which once purchased allows free and discounted entry into a variety of attractions and activities. Popular activities included Addo Elephant National Park, stand up paddle surfing hire, bicycle rentals as well as Route 67 guided walks.
Ms Mandlakazi Skefile, CEO of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism confirmed, “We were prepared for a busy summer holiday as Nelson Mandela Bay is fast becoming a destination of choice among travelers through providing convenience and accessibility to explore a variety of experiences.”
An increase of visitors was definitely noted through the tourism offices and accommodation occupancy numbers provisionally also reflecting a positive increase of visitors to the area. The final numbers and tourism impact for summer will be available as of the end of January as we are still in the middle of peak season. Tourism stakeholders and business have thus far reported an increase in trade. These include new additions to our city such as Baywest mall as well as Uber who launched their convenient transport system at the beginning of December 2015.
“We are so excited to be in Port Elizabeth, the uptake since launching has been incredible. People are loving having an alternative choice in moving around their city, at a very affordable price point. We have really changed the way the world thinks about transportation and we look forward to continued growth in PE.” confirmed Ms Samantha Allenberg, spokesperson for Uber PE.
As per Fayroush Ludick, Regional Manager: Communications, SANParks, “Addo Elephant National Park outside Port Elizabeth, noted a 4.4% increase in visitors – from 27 601 in December 2014 to 28 815 last year. The park also registered an 18.6% increase in the number of activities sold, up from 3 061 to 3 629. The Park’s entrance gate along the N2 just outside Colchester, Camp Matyholweni, continues to attract more visitors due to its accessibility from PE. Gate entry figures increased by 13% over the corresponding months.”
In order to spread the destinations experiences, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism has set a challenge for locals and visitors to the city. Using the hashtags #ShareTheBay and #MyNelsonMandelaBay, participants are invited to capture and share their summer experiences with the world on social media.
The campaign was launched on 1 December 2015. With over 700 moments, stories and images already being shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the campaign is proving to be a huge success.
“We asked everyone to express their love for Nelson Mandela Bay by capturing their festive moments and sharing it with the world,” explains Mandlakazi Skefile, CEO of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism. “And the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Through this campaign Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism has been able to share authentic experiences shared directly from other visitors and locals. Authentic experiences are more likely to motivate new and future visitors to the destination and the facilities.
To keep up with the trend, search for #ShareTheBay and #MyNelsonMandelaBay on social media sites.