Held at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve, the AAVEA Regional Seminar created an opportunity to raise awareness of ways in which the attractions in the City of Tshwane as well as other parts of the Province could work together to promote and grow tourism.
The Tshwane Tourism Association chairperson, Bronwen Cadle de Ponte, made a valid point when she said ‘’collaborative marketing makes things simple; as a city we need to speak and market with one voice’’.
Mpumi Mabuza from Ushaka Marine World presented case studies that can be used as a blueprint on how to start such initiatives and their benefits.
Sibusiso Dlamini, Functional Head – Resorts Operations, City of Tshwane and AAVEA board member mentioned the importance of marketing and customer service. He added that the City’s attractions need to give attention to improving service delivery. Tourists need to feel welcome and perceive that they get and amazing experience and value for money.
On the issue of the safety of the tourist, he mentioned that the city needs more visible tourism monitors that will work hand in hand with the police and traffic officers to address this critical issue.
Gillian Saunders, advisor to the former Tourism Minister, Derick Hanekom asked the delegates to consider the important questions of where they are, where they want to be and how to get there. Delegates where challenged to work together and do collaborative marketing. Gillian highlighted the importance of domestic marketing.
The Tshwane Tourism Association (TTA) was tasked to lead marketing collaborations with the help of AAVEA, City of Tshwane, Joburg Zoo and Gauteng Tourism. TTA already has a functional Attractions Chapter and local attractions that had not yet joined TTA were urged to do so, either as full members in the case of Tshwane attractions or as affiliate members in the case of attractions outside Thwane.