23 September 2014, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) hosted a Tourism Seminar for industry stakeholders in order to allow industry to keep up to date with e-marketing trends shared by experts in the field. NMBT has aligned the latest business plan with a strong e-marketing strategy due to a number of reasons such as reaching larger segmented target audiences, and more measurable marketing reach and a fraction of the cost of your more traditional marketing mediums.
Ms Mandlakazi Skefile, CEO of NMBT, shared “During tourism month this is our way of also giving back to stakeholders. They now have the opportunity to up skill and also interlink their social media campaigns to those of NMBT. This will allow them a greater reach with less or no financial implications whilst gaining trade tips to streamline their business strategies to not only increase travel to their products but to the City of Freedom as well.”
NMBT hosted experts from around the country to share their knowledge and expertise to help industry in Nelson Mandela Bay strengthen their individual brand while strengthening the destination brand. Speakers included Theresa Emerick, Managing Director of Nightsbridge. Currently working with 4000 clients in 12 African countries, Nightsbridge are able to assist local tourism businesses to connect real-time booking technology to international marketing channels and social media platforms.
Expedia Marketing Manager, Amanda Owen brings with her expertise from the United States although now based in Cape Town since 2012, and is the the Market Manager for the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and Northern Cape Provinces. Expedia is one of the world’s largest travel companies with an extensive portfolio featuring some of the world’s leading online travel brands. Knowledge imparted with NMBT stakeholders on brand importance was an invaluable experience.
Focusing more on the development of trade relationships with domestic trade and product partners to assist trade in focusing on selling domestic packages and offering support to the trade partners is Mr Sadiq Dindar of South African Tourism, Manager: Trade Relations Global and Southern Africa. Globally, Mr Sadiq’s role is to identify airlines and global partners that will sell SA to the trade. While Mr Mqondisi Gumede who is an online marketing specialist for South African Tourism spoke about SA Tourism’s use of digital and social media.
Ms Skefile NMBT CEO advised, “Research has shown that the internet not only inspires people but also gives future travelers with information on potential travel destinations which then allows them to take immediate action by booking online straight away which lends itself to a faster conversion rate in terms of bookings. ”
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism is successfully utilising a variety of e-marketing platforms from which stakeholders can benefit and participate in. These include starting off with NMBT’s website that from September 2013 to September 2014 had over 227 thousand unique visitors and over 783 thousand page views. A very active and informative Facebook page as well as twitter account among others. Recently launched at the Tourism Indaba 2014, to support NMBT’s e-marketing strategy is the NMBT blog page which is www.blog.nmbt.co.za and features amazing experiences through image, video and editorial pieces, allowing the viewer a visual treat of Nelson Mandela Bay’s iconic sites as well as lesser known hidden gems.
NMBT CEO, Ms Skefile emphasised to industry, “The online experience does not end after the booking process has been done, however it continues throughout and long after the traveler’s journey. We must therefore as a destination strive to provide an exceptional and authentic experience to visitors that will be share throughout networks to a universal audience.”
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