Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) has experienced a successful summer with tourists from across the globe being impressed with the destinations tourism offerings. The summer had ideal weather conditions alongside festive events and activations allowing tourists to experience not only the beach but also a variety of wildlife, heritage and adventure activities.
“Through marketing an array of attractions and activities available in Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) and a manner in which to make them accessible and affordable; visitors were able to experience these, and therefore find the destination more desirable for extended stays contributing to increased tourism numbers and a successful summer season,” confirmed Ms Mandlakazi Skefile, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO.
Whilst the summer season is not yet fully complete, NMBT can provide preliminary results indicators which show the local tourism sector’s success. These results show that during December 2016, approximately 393 615 bednights were sold in NMB at an average occupancy of 79.34% up by 6.98%. It is estimated that in the region of 267 848 overnight visitors came to NMB spending in the region of R402 766 150, up from R357 429 685.
From NMBT’s occupancy surveys it was found that during December 2016, that 72 226 (18.35%) bednights sold were foreign compared to 30 462 (8.72%) last year. Based on the methodology used by NMBT, from the bednights sold it can be derived that during the month there was in the region of 23 033 foreign overnight visitors to NMB. The foreign direct spend in NMB for the month is estimated at R62 364 102. The top 10 foreign countries visitors staying in formal accommodation as reported on by accommodation facilities came from: Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Australia, and Brazil. The top 3 foreign countries therefore indicate positive results of the marketing investments NMBT made into these markets throughout the year.
December 2016, saw 321 389 (81.65%) bed nights sold to the domestic tourism market. Based on the methodology from the bednights sold, NMBT can derive that during the month there were in the region of 241 043 domestic overnight visitors to NMB spending an estimated R340 402 048 using 2015 indicators.
The successful marketing and campaign efforts also showed through the increase in the number of Nelson Mandela Bay Pass cards sold. The festive season till date has seen the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass sales increase by 131% generating a total of R226 835.00 in revenue. The popular attractions visited with the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass include Adrenalin Addo’s double zipline, Sundays River Ferry, sandboarding at Sundays River Adventures as well as surf lessons and beachfront bicycle hires from Ocean Side Surf store.
Many were thrilled with the destinations offerings and happy to share and recommend their experiences through the digital campaign called “#Sharethebay” which till date has now seen over 8000 images uploaded with the hashtag. From December 2016 till date the participation increased by over 1000 images. The campaign created ambassadors and marketers out of locals and visitors to the destination allowing others to be enticed to explore the destinations offerings.
Ms Mandlakazi Skefile, NMBT CEO further confirmed, “Initiatives such as the Nelson Mandela Bay Travel App, Nelson Mandela Bay Pass as well as the campaigns are all tools that assist to effectively market the destination and allow the visitors experience to be enhanced by convenience and affordability.”
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