Mossel Bay Tourism 2013-14
1. Mossel Bay. Do stuff
Our activities during 2013-14, with notes about some of our plans for 2014-15
2. Unique Mossel Bay
• Any significant differentiator is the holy grail of marketing
• The unique attributes of a destination make it stand out above the noise: all
destinations have some attractions – beaches for example – but not all have
• Mossel Bay has two.
3. Mossel Bay. Do stuff
• Differentiator #1: Mossel Bay has more attractions and activities than most
small towns of comparable size.
• Significant because the first question that potential visitors ask when planning
any trip is “What can we do when we get there?” – the question of where to stay
is always secondary.
• Our ‘Things to do in Mossel Bay’ brochure offers 28 pages of information about
members’ accommodation and attractions, as well as about public attractions
like beaches, museums, etc.
• ‘Seafront accommodation for all budgets’ – significant because beachfront /
waterfront accommodation is usually reserved for higher budget travellers; but
in Mossel Bay it’s available for everyone from camping to luxury.
4. 162,000 years of holidays in Mossel Bay
MODERN HUMAN ORIGINS
• The archaeology of Mossel Bay is the subject of the largest scientific project of
its kind in the world today: the SACP4 Project: (South African Coast
Palaeoclimate, Palaeoenvironment, Palaeoecology, Palaeoanthropology
Project) under Prof. Curtis Marean of Arizona State University’s School of
• The team started excavating in the Pinnacle Point Caves in 2000, and began
publishing its findings in 2007.
• We know from genetic research that all people alive today are descendants of a
small, core population of perhaps a few hundred individuals who lived in Africa
around 160,000 years ago
• The SACP4 Project has identified Mossel Bay as the place where anatomically
modern humans began
o using ochre for colouring (our oldest paint – therefore the birthplace of
o embedding tiny, finely-made stone blades into other media like wood or
bone to create complex tools; and also using fire as an engineering tool
to improve the quality of the raw stone from which blades were made
(therefore the birthplace of advanced technology)
• The Caves were occupied by humans for more than 120,000 years over the
period to 162,000 years ago. (Representing the longest record of occupation
anywhere in the world.)
• Dripstone formations in the caves contain fossilised isotopes which have been
analysed for information about the weather and water during the period 30,000
to 400,000 years ago – a period during which various glacial (ice age) and
interglacial (warm periods) affected the globe.
• The Caves are thus the only place in the world where we can start to study how
human behaviour has adapted to different climate regimes
• The scientists continue to publish their findings in some of the world’s most
prestigious peer-reviewed journals. This has created enormous excitement
around the world, and visitors are beginning to come to Mossel Bay expressly
to explore the archaeology of the area
• Three attractions are currently available to them:
• The Human Origins Exhibit at Great Brak River Museum (which explores the
story of the local community within the context of modern human origins);
• The Cape St. Blaize Cave
• The Point of Human Origins Experience, led by Dr. Peter Nilssen, the man who
introduced the caves to science (he and Jonathan Kaplan discovered the finds
during a routine archeology survey conducted as part of the EIA process for the
development of Pinnacle Point Beach & Golf Estate)
5. Mossel Bay Tourism: Doing stuff
• Who is involved?
Board, members, etc.
• Special thank you to the Municipality and Council: the annual grant from the
municipality is our most important source of funding
8. Marketing tools
• We are able to leverage this relatively small spend on advertising by negotiating
additional editorial space
9. Marketing tools
• Mossel Bay street map – we printed 20,000 in the last year:
• Exploring historic Mossel Bay – 10,000 in the last year. Very popular guide
especially amongst visitors from Europe
10. Marketing tools
• Things to do in Mossel Bay – 20,000 (in two editions of 10,000)
• Our most important and most popular print communications tool (refer slide 3:
the primary question. “What can we do when we get there?”)
11. Marketing tools
• Where to Stay in Mossel Bay – 10,000
• Used particularly at consumer shows – in conjunction with Things to do
12. Marketing tools
• Information CDs – for tour operators, media, etc. Information in digital format –
Facts sheets, all our brochures, videos of Mossel Bay, selected media releases,
feature articles, and images
• Image library – good images are the basic building blocks of online and offline
• Bookmarks – promote our web site www.mosselbayart.co.za
• Presentations (PowerPoint) – available for download via our SlideShare.com
o Human origins tourism (originally prepared for SA Tourism: background
to the archaeology, description of local products, itineraries, etc.)
o Mossel Bay. Do stuff (General presentation for use by tour operators,
13. Marketing tools
• Our web site - our most important marketing tool
• On Google - consistently in the top three natural results of searches for ‘Mossel
o This is largely attributable to the fact that we post updates with
useful and relevant information almost every day
• Rapid growth since we rebuilt and re-launched in February 2011
§ December 2011: 44,825 visitors
§ December 2013, 72,175 visitors
§ 2013-14: 550,348 visitors
§ 2012-13: 445,310 visitors
14. Marketing tools
• This site built at the request of the municipality.
• All local artists, organisations, etc. are invited to send their info – no need to be
a member of Mossel Bay Tourism to appear on the site
15. Marketing tools
Facebook – www.facebook.com/visitmosselbay
Twitter - @getme2mosselbay - @MBayTourism
YouTube - www.youtube.com/visitmosselbay
• We’re currently finding that Twitter is our most effective means of
communicating on the social web
• International trend towards YouTube videos as effective messaging medium.
Our plan is to increase the number of videos we shoot and edit this year
(remembering that YouTube videos are not expensive to produce – our short
video featuring Curtis Marean explaining how the dig is conducted in Pinnacle
Point 5 & 6 was shot on an iPhone and edited on free software)
16. Public relations
• Quote sums up the reasoning behind our reliance on PR
17. Public Relations
• Articles written for general consumption
• We find that all our releases are taken up and reproduced across many internet
18. Public Relations
• These articles are written on request for specific publications
• Some have also been written for publication on our web site in order to solve for
specific search terms.
19. Trade shows
• In effect our attendance at shows is an extension of our public relations
campaign since PR is all about creating relationships with people – which is the
life-blood of the tourism chain, since tourism is about hospitality, which is
• Particularly important for creating relationships with tour operators because of
their ability to influence relatively large numbers of people.
20. International shows
• Vakantiebeurs: both trade and consumer show. 1,280 exhibitors, 18,803 trade
visitors, and 117,520 consumers.
o Experience at Vakantiebeurs confirmed the changing role of large tour
operators: many of the biggest companies have closed down, the
people they employed have gone on their own offering consumers
more personal services.
• Europe Roadshow: team of 8 marketers visited 31 travel agencies and tour
operators in their own offices in Western Germany, Belgium and Eastern
o Target companies used the opportunity to train staff.
o It pays to visit targets in their own offices - much more relaxed and
open to the presentations than at shows. They have more time to
discuss concerns or ask for clarifications.
o After a number of years, this kind of marketing is paying off as the
agents are now aware of Mossel Bay, and keen to receive news and
• Namibia Tourism Expo: consumer show. While we found that older visitors are
aware of Mossel Bay, and have been here for their holidays, younger visitors
seem disinterested in the Garden Route as a destination.
21. Domestic shows
• The Getaway and Beeld Holiday Shows very successful platforms for
engaging with South African visitors.
• Johannesburg Travel Festival took place for the first time this year; it was
modelled on the Mossel Bay Travel Festival. The organiser, Vanessa Sand,
attended our event
• World Travel Market Africa – an exciting new show (actually a series of three
shows on consecutive days – for the luxury, business and leisure markets. We
attended the leisure show)
o Really delivered for us: we had many fruitful meetings with a number of
new tour operators
• SA Tourism Indaba – there is a general feeling of discontent in the trade with
the Indaba: it’s become too expensive, the quality of the buyers is poor, the
numbers are falling, and few (if any) new buyers attended this year.
o The show has also become a pan-African event: focus on South Africa
o We are concerned that it may no longer be relevant for a DMO such as
22. Mossel Bay Travel Festival
• Created as a showcase for local businesses
• Designed on the model of the New York Travel Festival (which took place for
the first time in 2013)
• We affiliated the two festivals, and thanks sponsorship from WESGRO, brought
out the organiser of the NY Trav Fest, Roni Weiss, to attend our event
• Thanks to sponsorship from Hylton Ross Luxury Touring, and our own
members, we brought a group of ten hosted buyers to the show; they have all
subsequently sent business to Mossel Bay
23. Mossel Bay Travel Festival
• Share Mossel Bay
• Responsible travel
• Local residents
• Tourism practitioners
o Destination marketing organisations, travel agents, tour operators,
conference organisers, organisers of sports tours.
24. Mossel Bay Travel Festival (Photo)
• Plans for this year’s event:
• Day 1: Discussions – the Plenary will not return to Mossel Bay for some
time: this year we plan to present a training seminar for line staff, and
junior- and middle-managers
• Day 2: Exhibitions – we’re looking at the possibility of holding the
exhibitions at a mall this year, to increase visibility
• Day 3: Travelling – This year we want to extend this to the public.
Especially we’d like to get Mossel Bay people to travel in Mossel Bay
o Voorkamer Museums – ask private collectors to open their
collections (vehicles, memorabilia, orchids, etc.) to the public
25. Travel Mossel Bay (logo)
• Dates for this year.
• We have decided to end our affiliation with New York Travel Festival – hence
the name change. (No animosity: mutual agreement)
• Travel Mossel Bay will provide a platform to kick off our new Joint Marketing
Agreement (JMA) with Eden District Municipality
• The JMA aims to help Eden with coordinating attendance at domestic an
international shows and workshops. Eden is looking at signing similar
agreements with other towns.
• Hope that it will result in reduced costs and increased presence for all parties.
26. Mossel Bay Tourism
• We’re proud of that quote from a user on Twitter: it indicates to us that our
branding and positioning are world class:
o “Mossel Bay. Do Stuff. It’s the best line since Nike’s ‘Just do it’”
• Thank you
Mossel Bay Tourism
Telephone: +27(0)44 691 2202
Corner Market & Church Streets,
Mossel Bay, South Africa