The Mossel Bay Travel Festival in the Southern Cape hopes to put the Garden Route town on the international map, mainly through social media.
The event, which is affiliated to the New York Travel Festival, gives tourism operators the opportunity to make the public aware of what they have to offer – in real life and on the social web.
The theme is “Learning, Seeing and Doing”.
It includes presentations, exhibitions and trips to various tourist destinations in the region.
“It is all about talking to one another. We are talking to people all over the world now. There were a lot of tweets on Friday. At one stage Mossel Bay was trending and people were sharing that information. The travel festivals are designed to do that but also to continue sharing that information beyond the day on which we actually exhibit,” says Mossel Bay Tourism’s Martin Hatchuel.
Organiser of the New York Travel Festival, Roni Weiss says his visit to South Africa and especially the Garden Route, has drastically changed his perception of the country.
“In America we sometimes have a perception that South Africa is uniformly unsafe. I have had no experiences that have been remotely unsafe. It is like anywhere else in the world. If you are smart and you do not take stupid risks then you can have a fantastic time here. I will be able to go home and tell Americans that there is no reason to be scared of South Africa as a tourist destination,” says Weiss.
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