Mossel Bay Tourism has returned “excited and energized” from the annual Getaway Show in Gauteng.
The event – the 21st in the series – took place last weekend at the Coca Cola Dome, and drew more than 23,000 travel and outdoor enthusiasts and well over 250 exhibitors. It bills itself as ‘Africa’s leading travel and outdoor show.’
Mossel Bay Tourism’s Alison Giliomee said that the town’s stand was busy during the full three days of the show.
“People were delighted to see Mossel Bay there, and many of them wanted to share happy memories of their holidays in the town.
“I was amazed that we had a few (about ten) people asking where Mossel Bay is situated, but almost everyone knows about us, and since they think of us as a beach destination, many of them were pleasantly surprised when we told them about the many other attractions and activities we have to offer.”
She said that the cost of air fares to George was a concern for a number of visitors.
Fred Orban – a member of the board of Mossel Bay Tourism – said that he attended the show to market his products (Sandpiper Cottages self catering, The Oystercatcher Trail, the Hunter-Gatherer Trail, and the Point of Human Origins Tours).
“The show was incredibly well organised and well attended, but I think it provided some serious lessons for us as la region – the exhibitors from the Garden Route and the Klein Karoo were spread out all over, so we failed to make the mass impact that we could have.
“I think in future we need to coordinate ourselves better, and that this will help us address the lack of knowledge of the spread of activities available in the town.”
Mossel Bay Tourism chairman, René Bongers, exhibited his own hotel, Eight Bells Mountain Inn, on the Mossel Bay stand.
“What I found interesting was the number of people who came looking for information about accommodation,” he said.
“It’s clear that the perception that most of Mossel Bay’s domestic visitors prefer to stay in the caravan parks is wrong – we fielded hundreds of enquiries for self catering, luxury, and other kinds of accommodation.
“In fact we ran out of accommodation brochures towards the end of the show.
“But many loyal Mossel Bay holidaymakers who’ve been coming to us for years said that they had no idea that we have the number of activities and adventures that we do.”
He congratulated destinations like Tsitsikamma, which attended the show in force.
“I think we must make a point of working together in future to create that critical mass that’ll send out the strong signal that Mossel Bay is, indeed, the ‘Do stuff destination’,” he said.
Mossel Bay Tourism: www.visitmosselbay.co.za