The combining of three iconic and very diverse destinations as a single tourism prospect will be formalized at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Seychelles Tourism Board, Cape Town Routes Unlimited, and Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Agency. One of the outcomes of this agreement will be the facilitation and promotion of travel packages abounding in diversity as they combine the tropical island experience of the Seychelles with the scenic splendor and African Safari experience of Mpumalanga with the vibrancy, color, and excitement of one of the world’s most iconic and beautiful cities and regions – Cape Town and the Western Cape.
The agreement will be signed at the world’s largest travel and tourism exhibition, ITB, taking place from March 10-14 in Berlin, Germany. As part of the agreement, the parties will facilitate and promote joint packages highlighting the unique selling points of the Seychelles, Mpumalanga, and Cape Town and the Western Cape. They will also share information to improve their respective marketing strategies and collaborate on marketing campaigns and travel trade promotions in order to increase their share of the global market. This agreement is effective until January 31, 2013.
Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU), the official destination marketing organization for Cape Town and the Western Cape, representing the province, said, “This agreement comes at the perfect time when the Western Cape, Seychelles, and Mpumalanga are looking to make major inroads into common international markets of interest.”
“These markets include North and South America and Europe, which are critical sources of tourism for all of the signatories to the agreement,” added David Frandsen, executive manager, International Marketing and the Cape Town Convention Bureau from CTRU, who will be representing Cape Town and the Western Cape at ITB in Germany and who will sign the agreement on behalf of the Western Cape Provincial Minister for Finance, Economic Development, and Tourism, Mr. Alan Winde.
“Mpumalanga will be complementing the experiences offered by both Seychelles and the Western Cape to the South and North American Market, including Europe. This arrangement provides an opportunity to position Mpumalanga as the safari and adventure tourism destination to these markets. The Latin American region is an emerging market for Mpumalanga and we will be using this platform to, amongst others, engage with the travel trade to design and develop packages that will incorporate the product offering of Mpumalanga,” said Charles Ndabeni, the CEO of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency.
The Seychelles Vice President, Mr. Joseph Belmont, heading the Seychelles delegation at ITB, said that Seychelles is happy to be associated with its mainland neighbors in South Africa. “It is in Africa working with Africa that we shall be strong in promoting our continent to the world.” The island’s director of tourism marketing, Alain St. Ange, who signed the agreement on behalf of the tropical islands said: “South Africa, Cape Town, and the Western Cape and Mpumalanga are ideal associates for the Seychelles in joint promotions. We complement each other and the diversity we are offering as tri-center destinations is hard to beat.” Bernadette Villemin, Seychelles director in Europe, who witnessed the signing ceremony said, “In today’s tourism environment, it is important that we synergize all our marketing efforts and our resources to drive business to our respective destinations.”
This agreement also comes at a time when Air Seychelles is extending its services to include a weekly flight to Cape Town. The airline will from March 21, 2010, operate a flight from the Seychelles via Johannesburg to Cape Town. This move comes in reaction to increased visitor interest in combining a vacation between South Africa and the Seychelles and will also provide increased direct links between Seychelles and South Africa with the advent of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in June and July 2010.