The Western Cape is preparing to promote itself as the destination of choice during this year's Tourism Indaba to be held in Durban from Saturday.
"We are making full use of the opportunity and platform provided by the Tourism Indaba to let the world know that the Western Cape is the ideal 365 [days a year] destination and that Cape Town is indeed the place to be, pre-, during and post 2010 FIFA World Cup," said Western Cape MEC for Finance and Tourism Lynne Brown on Friday.
The Tourism Indaba which will end on Tuesday is the largest tourism marketing event on the African calendar.
It showcases the widest variety of Southern Africa's tourism products and attracts travel trade and media from across the world.
The overall focus of the 2008 Indaba is South Africa's readiness for and excitement around the world cup.
The province is already receiving huge interest, judging by the number of requests received for the arrangement of pre and post Indaba tours to the destination.
Tours have been organised for 20 travel trade, media and embassy officials from Argentina, Venezuela, Portugal, Germany, Madagascar, Israel, Russia, Singapore, Korea, Canada and the USA.
"The Indaba provides the perfect platform for us to present travel trade and media with a taste of the wealth of unique products and experiences Cape Town and the Western Cape has to offer.
Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold said: "As South Africans involved in the tourism industry, we're living in incredibly exciting times."
She said the province was looking forward to sharing its enthusiasm and knowledge on our sought-after destination and its offerings at Indaba this year.
A definite highlight on Cape Town and the Western Cape's Indaba programme will be a tourism trade and media networking session which will provide an in-depth update on world cup preparations, as well as details of world cup-focused tourism research.
The event will also see the launch of Cape Town and the Western Cape's Tourism Ambassador Programme.
As part of the programme well-known personalities, citizens and celebrities will be asked to pledge their personal and professional support to the continued promotion of Cape Town and the Western Cape as a premier tourism destination, as well as tourism awareness in general.
Through their 'word-of-mouth' endorsements and sharing of their personal and anecdotal experiences, they will inspire others to be proud of the destination and share in the benefits of tourism, said Ms du Toit-Helmbold.
As part of Cape Town and the Western Cape's active and dynamic small business and entrepreneur market access programme, a group of 30 emerging tourism entrepreneurs will be joining the Cape Town and Western Cape stand.
In this way, the province believes that they'll gain invaluable exposure as well as access to the larger global market.
Other exciting features at the Cape Town and Western Cape stand include a rugby fan park atmosphere for Saturday's Super 14 matches, performances by super hip free-style footballers from Langa in Cape Town, as well as an exhibition of innovatively painted vuvuzelas made out of kelp, in line with this year's 'greening' theme.
Indaba will also be the first major event "to go green", and more than 100 bins will be strategically placed around the three centres for the express purpose of waste separation - cans, glass, plastic, paper and general waste. - BuaNews