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Stellenbosch Trade Visit to USA ‘a huge success’

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20 July 2017 [group_audience]
USA Trade Visit

Caption: Above on left CEO Annemarie Ferns sharing a lighter moment with Bangu Masisi, President of SA Tourism in New York. On right Annemarie Ferns with Yvette de Vries, President of APTA, and Riël Meynhardt, of STB 360 and owner of Evergreen Manor and Spa.

Stellenbosch Trade Visit to USA ‘a huge success’

After returning from the USA end September and having seen and promoted brand #Stellenbosch as a preferred global tourist destination to some 200 American tour delegates and touring agencies specialising in tourism to the African continent, Annemarie Ferns, CEO of Stellenbosch 360, summed up the visit as follows: “I believe that the strong growth in Stellenbosch tourism during the last few years can be directly linked to our continued visits to different big major tour operators and trade shows in the Eastern markets, in Europe and the USA!”

“Our visit was indeed a ‘huge success’ and we achieved many goals. I believe that it was the first time in many many years that Stellenbosch had the opportunity to market our town and region as a desired global tourist destination to major tour operators and agencies on the USA East Coast – specifically New York and Toronto as well as attending the APTA Conference (Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa) in Fort Lauderdale as guests-of-honour. I consider this a major breakthrough.”

'Local 'magic'

She added: “When we presented the diverse ‘magic’ of the Stellenbosch region and its rich culturally diverse people with its world-class tourism facilities to the USA trade, they responded with enthusiasm. I had scarcely returned to my office when requests started pouring in. I think we succeeded in establishing a new awareness of Stellenbosch’s vast tourism potential for the global traveller.“

Ms Ferns pointed out that the delegation’s mission was to firstly create awareness that Stellenbosch was much more than a drive-through tourist stop, but an ideal stay-over destination with hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and entertainment comparable with the best in the world. Also, that Stellenbosch had world-class food and wine offerings as well as an environment and climate becoming more and more a recognised events and training venue for international sports men and women in disciplines such as cycling, athletics, rugby and swimming. “Celebrity faces of world-class sport stars from all over the globe training in Stellenbosch, had become a familiar sighting in our town.”   

New experiences

She further elaborated: “We focussed on promoting three new Stellenbosch experiences and packages to the USA trade, namely ‘Stellenbosch on Foot’ – focussing on our town’s exceptional architecture, art, botanical garden and others. Our other two packages ‘Dine with the Locals’ and ‘Wine pairing with traditional African food’ also attracted immediate attention and favour. The trade indicated to us that the American tourist would want to connect with the peoples of Stellenbosch themselves and to discover and enjoy our region’s specific cultural experiences.”   

She concluded: “Our visit to the USA East Coast visiting the American tour operators and attending the annual APTA Conference there, was a natural follow-up of a similar visit in 2015 when we attended the APTA Conference on the West Coast establishing new trade relationships there. We in Stellenbosch believe firmly in the potential that the USA market has for tourism to South Africa and specifically for us as a town and region. We are certain that our area will benefit exponentially in time to come.”

Stellenbosch 360

Friends of Stellenbosch

Contact

E: info@stellenbosch360.co.za
T: +27 (0)21 883 3584
F: +27 (0)21 882 9550

Information Office:
36 Market Steet
Stellenbosch, 7600