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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  13 Sep 2011

TOURISM: E-Tourism Summit In Cape Town


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The future sustainability of tourism will be a strong theme at this year’s E Tourism Africa Summit, which will take place on the 15th and 16th of September at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. South African Tourism is the title sponsor of the summit, with Cape Town Tourism as the host sponsor. 

Building on the success of last year’s summit, and on valuable feedback from the industry, this year’s summit will feature an all-new programme format, with a soon-to-be-announced line up of international speakers from leading travel firms, social networks and best practice destinations from around the globe.

During the first day, a selection of international speakers will present not only the latest innovations and technologies, but will also be challenged to demonstrate the opportunities that technology creates for the sustainability of economic growth in a market defined by slow economic recovery, alternative energies and changing demographics.

The second day of the summit will offer delegates the option of attending a full practical online tourism seminar that will help bring tourism stakeholders up to speed on digital marketing, e-commerce management and using social media to promote their businesses. Alternatively, delegates can attend a series of specialized panel discussions – moderated by leading international experts – on key issues for the ongoing development of online tourism across Africa. These sessions will include discussions on the roles of destination managers, travel agents, tour operators, wildlife managers and airlines.

Damian Cook, the CEO and Founder of E Tourism Frontiers, the company organizing the summit, said online tourism was still growing rapidly across the world. “Online travel continues to grow, last year the sector recorded 7% growth and stands at well over US $160 billion in sales. Statistics show that 55% of travel sales are completed online and more than 95% of travel research is done online. Mobile is also a growing area with 28% of mobile users in the UK using their phones to access the internet every day”, said Cook.

The E Tourism Frontiers CEO went on to say, “With figures like these, it is clear that online is now the arena of choice for travel sales, but we need to look at how we can also use technology to build growth in challenging markets and make our industry more sustainable. This is especially true in Africa, where we are only beginning to realize the full potential of technology for tourism. South Africa and Cape Town are leaders in this respect and therefore a logical host country and city for this event, where we will explore ways of working together with both the public and private sector to ensure sustainability and a future fit environment for tourism in Africa”, said Cook.

William Price, the Global eMarketing Manager for South African Tourism, said that the Summit will be a great opportunity for the tourism sector to catch up with all the latest online technology. “It is vital that destinations and tourism companies in Africa wake up and smell the cyberspace if they want to gain their rightful share of the vast $160 billion plus online travel market business. We need to start making online a priority. In Africa we have some of the richest, most diverse and dramatic destinations on the planet and the limitless world of the web to tell our stories”, said Price.

Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, said that hosting the E Tourism Africa Summit in Cape Town for the second year running served to highlight the commitment of the city’s tourism industry to embracing technology and building on Cape Town’s global competitiveness.

As a destination Cape Town has made great strides in terms of our digital presence. E-marketing is the cornerstone of Cape Town Tourism’s marketing strategy.

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