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For tourists, Cape Town is most well known for its bustling V&A Waterfront, expansive vineyards and iconic Table Mountain, attracting up to 5 million visitors each year both within Africa and Internationally. But did you know that outside of these top attractions there is much more to be discovered? 

Cape Town is a very diverse destination ranging from top 5-star hotels to homestays in a local township, a side many tourists may not know. As such, over the last few years the DMO, Cape Town Tourism, set out on a new journey to build the brand of Cape Town from the inside out, shifting the strategy from marketing with a visitor perspective, to developing a strong focus on locals and what visitors can experience from this perspective.

Focus on communities

At a time when visitors are seeking authentic experiences and deeper connections with a destination, this is a perfect strategy shift. 

The core of the strategy was to get communities involved in destination marketing. Not only would this help to drive tourists to lesser known areas of the city, but it generates funds to less affluent areas where the money is needed most, and it helps those areas that don’t have the means to market these unique, transformative experiences. The impacts of this are two-fold; it encourages positive geographic spread into neighbourhoods that need it, while highlighting the direct benefits of tourism to effectively support local communities.

Content angle shift

For this the DMO started to focus on uncovering these places and experiences through engaging videos, developing a series of 12 documentary style videos shot in neighbourhoods around the CBD. To begin with, these videos had a narrator and were purposely 6 minutes long. This evolved through a process of trial and error, to locals telling the stories themselves creating a much more immersive and authentic connection, and were later cut down into shorter clips to appeal to the ever shorter attention-span. All content is created in-house which further deepens the connection between the destination and the message.

Sustainable Destination Management

Finally, Cape Town Tourism believe it is impossible to achieve sustainable destination management without involving your community because today more than ever, they are a huge part of creating and delivering the visitor experience. Creating content through the eyes of the locals delivers a truly authentic message of passion, pride and interesting perspectives, shifting the narrative from the top attractions of Cape Town, to the people and places at the heart of the destination. 

Leigh Dawber, Marketing Executive at Cape Town Tourism, joined us at #DTTTCampus in Jersey 2018. Watch the full talk here

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