2010 Fans Targeted for East Cape Country Get-aways

www.MyPE.co.za:
Eastern Cape resorts located away from the main 2010 action are in
training to score visits from fans who want to experience some of what
the country has to offer. Outlying Ectour members are targeting fans
whose teams have been eliminated from the competition or city-dwellers
who want to escape the hustle and bustle of host cities during big
games.

Ectour,
the private-sector group marketing organisation for the Eastern
Cape, asked its members how they were preparing for the 2010 FIFA World
Cup. The majority of outlying venues believed that they would not
benefit from the event as much as venues situated within Port
Elizabeth, but they were looking at benefiting indirectly from the
scores of visitors to the province.

“We are looking to capitalise on folk who don’t follow soccer and want
to get out of the busy city during world cup games,” says Richard
Warren-Smith of the Morgan Bay Hotel. “We will be advertising
‘get-away’ packages closer to the time.”

Mart Bouter from Tsalanang Township B&B in
Tsitsikamma will be
focussing on the after-effects of the World Cup in 2011. “We are
looking forward to the following year when all that South African
footage hits the world. We are hoping that people will be exposed to
the Eastern Cape as a destination worth exploring.” With approximately
26 billion viewers expected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it is a
massive opportunity for lesser-known provinces like the Eastern Cape to
showcase their offerings.

A survey carried out by TNS Infratest on behalf of the German National
Tourist Board (GNTB) showed that the 2006 FIFA World Cup helped Germany
move up two places from its 2005 ranking in the Anholt-GMI Nation
Brands Index that measures the image of countries.

According to the survey, the 2006 World Cup raised the profile, in
particular, of lesser known host cities, such as Dortmund (up by seven
percentage points), Kaiserslautern and Gelsenkirchen (both up by six
percentage points). A close link was often observed between the host
cities where matches were played by national teams and the increase in
awareness of those cities.

“We have so much to offer,” says Wessel Benson, operations manager of
the Fish River Sun. “The Eastern Cape is far less developed, so the
natural beauty of the area is enhanced. We also have friendlier people
and some of the best surfing waves in the country!”

Other Ectour members agree. “The Eastern Cape can really capitalise on
its rural appeal,” says Richard Warren-Smith of the Morgan Bay Hotel.
“There is only one Wild Coast with pristine, untouched beaches. We also
have a lot of family hotels and our destinations offer value-for-money
experiences.”

“Despite the fact that service delivery seems to be better in the
bigger tourism sectors like Cape Town and Durban, the Eastern Cape
offers a more down-to-earth, straight-from-the-heart approach. You can
really experience the beauty and simplicity of Africa in the Eastern
Cape,” says Mart Bouter fromTsalanang
Township B&B

in
Tsitsikamma.

The Eastern Cape certainly has the potential to use the 2010 World Cup
as a springboard for national and international recognition. It also
has a number of unique aspects that set it aside from other major
centres.

“It is really up to the tourism operators to put their initiative and
skills together to help make the Eastern Cape a tourism destination
that will benefit all,” says Anleen Louw,
Ectour

Chairperson.

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