TripAdvisor’s Top 25 World Destinations list for 2012 has been released, with Olympic-ready London taking the top spot and last year’s winner, Cape Town, coming in 23rd, while also being voted second favorite destination in Africa.
The TripAdvisor surveys are completed by its users, and the results are tallied in an annual round-up. When asked why the user-generated results varied so significantly from one year to the next, Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, said that factors such as major events often bought destinations to top of mind. “Our 2011 win was very much a legacy of the attention and exposure the 2010 FIFA World Cup brought us, many people vote for the destination they aspire to visit and not necessarily the places they have already been.”
Said Du Toit-Helmbold: “Awards are a significant boost to any destination’s reputation, and the 2011/2012 summer season saw a real increase in tourism, no doubt influenced by accolades like the TripAdvisor Destinations top spot. What is essential, however, is that awards are followed up with tangible marketing campaigns, which reinforce the message and capture the interest that the moment brings.”
Cape Town’s urban tourism offering is the topic of a documentary made as a result of a two city (Cape Town and Durban) partnership with National Geographic. The programs explored the undiscovered aspects of Cape Town and revealed its hidden gems through the eyes of its own people. Social media elements support the campaign, and the resulting footage will be aired extensively in multiple countries, which Cape Town has targeted as potential and existing source markets.
Du Toit-Helmbold stressed the importance of working in partnership: “Cape Town Tourism is committed to working with our local, provincial, and national associates and our private sector stakeholders to grow tourism as a major, and more inclusive, economic driver. The ability of the tourism sector to provide jobs and fulfilling careers in itself is the greatest reward.”