Together with Joburg Tourism, the Joburg Gems marketing initiative have taken full advantage of various promotional opportunities during 2015 to position Joburg as a top stay-over golfing destination in South Africa.
These include exhibiting the golfing cluster at two prominent exhibitions in October this year – the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) which took place in Tenerife in the Canary Islands followed, as well as by participating in the Sports & Events Tourism Exchange (SETE), held in the neighbouring city, Tshwane.
The Golfing Cluster comprises Johannesburg’s top like-minded golf courses and a hotel -including Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club and The Bryanston Country Club, along with Randpark Golf Club and the Fairway Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort .
Together these form either the perfect stopover golfing package for internationals, consisting of a two night stay with three rounds of golf chosen from the five different golf courses, before going onto other popular golfing areas in South Africa – or a longer stay for social golfing groups from other provinces, looking for a fun alternative, possibly combined with city night life and culture.
“Joburg Tourism continues to seek opportunities to grow tourism, while promoting and entrenching Johannesburg as the continent’s most multi-faceted and culturally diverse lifestyle destination,” says Rendani Khorommbi, Joburg Tourism’s Visitor Services Bureau Manager, who participated at both shows.
“The main objective for Joburg Tourism’s participation at IGTM was to meet with Golf Tour operators and buyers from different global destinations to maximize the sales potential for Johannesburg as a relevant Golf Tourism destination and further complement existing elements for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE),” elaborates Khorommbi.
“Joburg Tourism’s participation gave other Gems participants an immediate competitive advantage for their businesses, while keeping abreast with the latest developments in the leisure sector for golf travellers. There was a huge interest on South Africa, but there is a need to market Joburg extensively as one of the world’s best golfing destinations. Leads received during the show were encouraging, but tangible bookings would establish the positive impacts of IGTM 2015.”
The SETE conference, which this year took on a golf tourism theme, also highlighted the importance of golf as a tourism driver to destinations. Given that golfers spend a significant amount more per day compared to regular tourists – not forgetting the potential to attract over 60 million golfers globally to choose South Africa for their next golfing trip – makes destination golfing a very compelling marketing drive.
In addition, the Gems initiative also welcomed 13 trips by golf tour operators throughout the year. These groups were able to experience the various golfing products and explore the city to gain first hand experience of the type of trip that Joburg offers, as an inclusion to their South African itineraries.
Natalie van Blerk, Owner and Managing Member of Joburg Gems, appointed to drive the Joburg Gems marketing initiative comments: “South Africa’s weakening rand is a huge positive to attract golfers to this beautiful and diverse country, offering a myriad of golfing experiences as well as off the course attractions such as safari in Limpopo and a gourmet extravaganza of food and wine in the Cape. It should be a bucket list trip on any golfer’s radar and we hope to welcome them to Johannesburg, which is the gateway into the rest of the country.”
The Joburg Open, taking place at member club Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club in January 2016, bodes well for the initiative, as the city is showcased to the rest of the world, illustrating just how lovely the world’s biggest man-made forest is.”
The Joburg Gems marketing initiative looks forward to re-inventing itself in 2016 and beyond with exciting new partnerships to strengthen the collaboration and explore new heights.