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Destination Garden Route turns 1!

Destination Garden Route #GardenRouteExpert

Today we’re 1! Can you believe it, a year has gone by since we registered the company. And we’ve done some fun things during the last year, as highlighted on the Destination Garden Route facebook page as well:

We’ve exhibited at two major trade shows in South Africa, namely WTM Africa in Cape Town in February and Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban in May. At these shows we represented a total of 10 different products, including activities, (wheels) operators as well as different size accommodation establishments. We (re)connected with international outbound as well as South African inbound tour operators and introduced ourselves as the ‘go to’ people as far as their Garden Route requirements are concerned. After the shows the products we represented received a full list with operator details for individual follow up. At the same time we followed up as well, and although these marketing exercises take time to bare fruit, the first enquiries have come in and are being executed as we speak.

We represented products as well as Knysna Tourism at different trade workshops in Port Elizabeth, Durban and Cape Town. Speed marketing sessions where between 100 and 120 travel agents, tour guides and tour operators had the chance to learn about what our area has to offer. As one cannot really elaborate on anything in just 5 minutes per groups of 4 or 5 agents again the follow up afterwards remains crucially important.

We networked…. As Skål International Garden Route members we got to know our Skålleagues on the Garden Route as well as in Cape Town. Again, we rekindled friendships and made lots of new ones. We get to know more products along the Garden Route, so we have more to share with our guests and operators.

We joined SATSA and went to the yearly conference. Met more old friends, made more new ones. Listened and learned and networked some more…

We travelled the Garden Route. We took media and operators around Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, we showed guests the R62, the caves in Oudtshoorn, the people of Knysna, the forests in the Tsitsikamma. We spoke English, Afrikaans, Dutch and tried some German. We introduced Chick to the world, and although she’s shy and doesn’t want to feature on every pic, she shows up on the Destination Garden Route instagram feed every now and then….

We made suggestions to guides and operators. We wrote itineraries. For visitors, and operators. We included unique experiences, we brought them people who live their lives here on the Garden Route. Who don’t have a grand business, but who have a story to tell that’s unique to them. We visited places to stay, places to eat, places to do fun things, meet interesting people.

We had fun! This first year has been exciting, but most of all fun! For those of you who were with us during this year: Thank you! For those of you who have just joined: welcome to our journey, we hope you enjoy the ride with us!

Here’s to us, and Destination Garden Route. Here’s to us, and you. And you. And you… Happy 1st birthday to all of us!


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