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S’bosch tourism initiatives highlighted

At the first Stellenbosch 360 Networking Function of 2019, recently held at Zarose Hotel and Guesthouse in Devon Valley, and attended by some 70 members and other guests, various new local tourism initiatives were highlighted.

Annemarie Ferns, CEO of Stellenbosch 360, announced the details of the Tourist Sentiment Index (TSI) following a three-year contract signed by Stellenbosch 360 with Destination Think! and Wesgro.

TSI provides an analysis across six categories that are important to destination marketers. They are: Culinary, Destination Services, Relaxation and Wellness, Outdoor Activities, Culture and History, Amenities and Entertainment

Each is composed of multiple tourism assets. Ferns further indicated that the TSI analysis would furnish vital information on the perception people have of Stellenbosch, from which businesses can adjust to sentiment voiced either via internet or print media.

Guest speaker Ernie Aylward, as one of the founder members of the striking Mellowcabs vehicles, already a familiar sight in Stellenbosch, explained that the big breakthrough with these conceptualised electric vehicles as a mode of transport was the drastic reduction in carbon emission. He said the company was ready to launch eight vehicles in Stellenbosch – the mode of transport perfectly designed to carry two passengers besides the driver. He said the bright yellow Mellowcabs would soon be spotted transporting tourists and locals within the town centre. The Mellowcabs can be booked for trips and tours within Stellenbosch.

Another new project by Stellenbosch360, in partnership with The Brand Mix, called the Online Gift Card Initiative, was introduced by the latter’s CEO Richard Toms. He told the audience Stellenbosch was to be the South African incubator for this very innovative pilot project, from which the global tourism industry is already benefiting, with great returns! He said the integration of a digital voucher strategy will generate substantial turnovers and increased brand awareness for Stellenbosch 360 and its members.

Following the success of two Business Tourism Indabas, in 2017 and 2018, Zelda Coetzee-Burger and Gwyn Matthews masterminded the Events Academy Africa (EAA) for start-ups in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events Industry (MICE). Guest speaker Gwyn Matthews provided details of the recent launch of the academy at Stellenbosch 360, where it has set up office and will host masterclasses for beginners, SMMEs and professionals in the MICE industry.

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