Evolving the destination – a world travel mandate
Static destination marketing strategies lead to diminishing tourism returns – that was the position of Cape Town Tourism at the World Travel Market Africa held in Cape Town last week. The organisation used WTM, one of the leading annual travel and tourism trade shows in Africa, to highlight what can be done to ensure that not only do past visitors return, but that a fresh generation of visitors is enticed to explore for the first time.
They advocated that central to building on existing marketing strategies is the need to reach out to smaller existing source markets and to expand on the offering that appeals to those market, as well as developing a grand approach to creating new opportunities in source markets not yet delved into.
Cape Town Tourism has developed a programme geared towards tapping into the global Muslim travel market, one of the fastest growing markets on the planet, with a view to both preparing the city’s establishments and attractions in terms of capacity for appealing to the Muslim traveller’s specific needs and also in celebrating the rich culture of Cape Town for the benefit of locals.
“Every year, we monitor where our visitors come from and the growth or decline in those patterns," said Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism. "What we have realised is that while key source markets exist, the opportunities for growth can come from outside those markets, which is why an initiative such as encouraging Muslim-friendly tourism holds such potential to boost our tourism economy.”
The programme is now in its second year, in partnership with Crescent Rating, a Singapore-based organisation that assists destinations in providing relevant experiences to the Muslim travel market. So far, Cape Town Tourism has hosted a chef exchange with local chefs, created a glossary of terms about Muslim travel needs for use within the tourism sector, and laid the groundwork for an awareness campaign.
“The sheer size of the growing Muslim travel market makes it common sense to ensure that we’re ready to welcome visitors from this market. Whether those visitors come from the Middle East, North Africa, Asia or even from our traditional source markets such as Germany or the UK, we must provide top-notch travel experiences to the Muslim market,” Duminy added.
The drive to attract the Muslim visitor is part of a larger marketing strategy that’s designed to ensure that, in all aspects of tourism, Cape Town can hold its own as competitive on the world stage.