The campaign is the latest social effort from Cape Town Tourism, the organisation that looks after positioning the South African city as a top tourism destination. It takes the form of a Facebook-based travel app, that will allow people to experience Cape Town.
According to Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, the Facebook app, which it is calling a “world-first” because the organisation understands how important social media, and Facebook in particular, have become when it comes to making travel decisions.
“The Facebook app is a creative user experience that utilises the latest technology and Facebook’s immense global reach to raise awareness of one of Africa’s most beautiful and inspiring cities. From 02 October, (until the end of December 2012), Facebook users around the world will be able to send their Facebook profile on a holiday to Cape Town and stand the chance of winning a trip to the city for real,” she says.
Facebook users can tailor-make experiences that fit their personal interests with a unique itinerary assigned to them. The app demonstrates Cape Town as a city that offers everything from high-energy adventure sports to relaxing, family friendly experiences. To get people using the app, the organisation is offering people the chance to win a real holiday to Cape Town.
“Anyone signing their profile up for a trip gets a boarding pass in their profile’s name from their home town and heads off on a five-day virtual trip to Cape Town. Each day they receive an update with photos of where their profile ate, went, partied or stayed — with gripping point-of-view photos and videos showing the full experience,” says du Toit-Helmbold.
To get started, people need to click on the app to start their journey on the My Cape Town Holiday Facebook page.
Underlying the importance of Facebook is the fact that research in 2012 has shown that 76% of travelers post vacation photos to a social network and 40% post activity/attraction reviews. When you bear in mind that over 90% of consumers around the world say they trust recommendations from friends, such as word-of-mouth, and that of those who used social media to research travel plans, only 48% stuck with their original travel plans; it is clear that social media is now of paramount importance for travel authorities like us.
Du Toit-Hembold believes the campaign “will give thousands of people a chance to do a virtual ‘test drive’ of a trip to Cape Town in a really engaging way, and it should whet appetites around the country and around the world resulting in more arrivals for Cape Town”.