SCTIE NEWSLETTER | February 2024
South Coast Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom NEWSLETTER
  The year is well underway and tourism on the KZN South Coast continues to improve. While official statistics on the festive season are still to be released by Tourism KZN, it appears that the Ugu District remains a key destination over the festive season. Reports from our larger establishments indicated 100% occupancy rates over the peak week, with our Blue Flag beaches undoubtedly a major drawcard.  
  We now turn our attention to the Easter holiday, another important date on the tourism calendar for the KZN South Coast. Our marketing, public relations, and advertising campaigns continue to highlight our Blue Flag beaches, alongside our many other unique selling points. World-class dive sites, gorges, and nature reserves found here meet the needs of the modern adventure traveller, with the development of new tourism offerings such as Mission Tourism, the Weza Hiking Trail, the Beach-to-Beach Adventure Hike, and the Umzumbe River Trail ensuring we remain a first-choice destination.  
  While challenges remain, the year ahead holds a lot of promise for the tourism sector. The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer indicates international tourism ended 2023 at 88% of pre-pandemic levels. We’re well on the road to recovery, with people looking to travel, to enjoy new experiences, and to connect with the natural world. We will continue to develop our tourism assets to meet this need and to grow tourism on the KZN South Coast.  
  Read on to find out what the South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) team has been busy with this quarter.  
Southern Explorer Collaboration
  Celebrating its Silver Jubilee this year, the Southern Explorer remains a pivotal guide to all our tourism offerings on the KZN South Coast. This year, we are collaborating with them by highlighting key destination offerings via the various tour routes. We have already shown support for The Wellness Way, the country’s first wellness travel route, launched by Odyssey Magazine and The Southern Explorer at the end of 2023. Plans are also in place to partner with The Southern Explorer on attending Africa’s Travel Indaba taking place at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (Durban ICC) from 14 to 16 May.  
  Marketing efforts on the KZN South Coast continue to resonate with travellers, with our key tourism assets highlighted domestically and to international audiences.  
  The annual campaign message ‘Uncover Adventure’ is a way to showcase our unique hinterland, rural tourism, extreme adventure, and heritage tourism offerings. This quarter, the theme has been paired with our ‘Breakaway’ marketing campaign related to Valentine’s Day, MICE and business tourism, as well as Easter holiday messaging. This encourages a temporary escape from the daily routine, a ‘breakaway’ to unwind, recharge, and enjoy a change of scenery.  
Buy Local Campaign Update   Tourism Awareness Campaign Update
Buy Local Campaign Update   Tourism Awareness Campaign Update
We continue to welcome new Buy Local members every quarter, with our #buylocal digital advertising campaign profiling new tourism members to encourage support, as well as calling on existing businesses to join the membership.   This quarter, our tourism awareness campaign is themed ‘It’s Breakaway Time – Be Easter Ready!’. Through various media platforms, we are communicating the importance of KZN South Coast residents, tourism establishments, business owners, and stakeholders being ‘Easter ready’.
Read More   Read More
Tourism Destination Video
  Tourism Destination Video  
  We are excited to launch our latest tourism destination video which will promote the KZN South Coast widely via social media. This 3-minute video captures our many tourism offerings, including accommodation, adventure, golf, beaches, agri tourism, culture, waterfalls, Dezzi Raceway, and more. Check out the video here.  
Public Relations Update
  Our media relations remain strong through a dedicated PR campaign, with our ‘Uncover Adventure’ and ‘Breakaway’ themes gaining exposure through dedicated press releases. Continued media monitoring allows us to engage directly with media on any challenges facing tourism marketing, and attend to media queries that provide positive exposure for the KZN South Coast.  
  Read More  
Advertising Update
  We have continued to drive our advertising exposure via digital platforms, with ‘Uncover Adventure’ and ‘Breakaway’ messaging shared on Instagram, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn. According to Smart Insights, 62.3% of the global population uses social media, making it a highly impactful form of advertising. Our Easter-related content posted on these platforms highlighted our family outings, restaurants, Ntelezi Msani Heritage Centre, and Mission Tourism.  
Advertising Update   Advertising Update
  Our revamped website and active social media platforms engage existing and new followers daily. Digital marketing provides visitors with real-time information directly to their tablets or smartphones and encourages direct engagement to better inform our communication and marketing efforts.  
  Social Media   Website  
  We’ve maintained our assertive approach to brand awareness and social media campaigns following the festive season surge. Increased frequency of published content, operator event sharing, and showcasing specials have resulted in substantial and positive cross-platform engagement.   Our ongoing commitment to our tourism website has led to more than 100 updates and two dozen software and plugin enhancements since 12 December 2023. The ‘Specials & More’ page has expanded significantly, boosting our establishments online presence and strengthening our social media backlinking.  
  Read More   Read More  
  Push Notifications   Explore the KZN South Coast app  
  Nearly 18 distinct Push Notifications – including multimedia, links, events, blogs, and key milestones – are consistently shared with tourism establishments, and stakeholders.   Our app undergoes daily updates through a single Content Management System (CMS). This ensures continuous growth – alongside the 100 changes to the website.  
  Read More   Read More  
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  Our SEO efforts have significantly boosted our website traffic and engagement with our online platforms. By optimising our content with relevant articles tailored to search engine algorithms and user intent, we have seen notable improvements in our organic search rankings and visibility.  
  Read More  
  Database Management   Event Guide  
  Due to the overwhelming response we had to the last Push Notification and internal mailer sent to tourism establishments requesting their listing updates, we have opted to send out POPI-compliant communication once a month.   We continue to update our digital ‘Events’ calendar with all local happenings. This is an effective way to provide our local tourism establishments with exposure while directing our visitors to exactly what’s happening, where on the KZN South Coast at any time.  
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  Developing and supporting sustainable tourism initiatives and upskilling local communities remains the best way to grow our tourism economy, extending it into the rural areas. This quarter, we have undertaken several projects to bring our youth and rural communities into mainstream tourism.  
  New Tourism Packages   SMME Development and Support  
  We continue to work with local stakeholders to uncover hidden gems and develop new routes that offer tourists unique KZN South Coast experiences.   We partnered with the KZN Department of Sport, Arts and Culture to organise two exhibitions for KZN South Coast crafters.  
  Read More   Read More  
  Youth Development and Support   Community Awareness  
  We assisted the Esayidi TVET College in placing 8 interns at various tourism establishments for 18 months, affording them practical experience that will increase their options for employment.   Alongside other stakeholders, we participated in the Tourism Safety Awareness Campaign which was hosted by TKZN at Margate Beach Amphitheatre on 25 November 2023.  
  Read More   Read More  
Keep Updated
There is always so much happening on the KZN South Coast! Please feel free to share our newsletter with other interested parties and encourage them to sign up for updates. Please also submit any specials, events, images and blog content for digital marketing.
We’ve made it easy for people to sign up for our mailers via email communication and the website so everyone is updated with relevant information.
  If you haven’t already, be sure to download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple app stores. We urge you to encourage visitors to also download the app for regular updates on our tourism offerings. Information can also be found by visiting South Coast Tourism on Facebook; South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise on YouTube; @infosouthcoast on Twitter or Instagram; sctiekznsouthcoast on TikTok; Info Ugu South Coast Tourism on LinkedIn; the SCTIE website to check out the Events Calendar, the KZN South Coast Meeting Planner Guide and more! Watch why KZN South Coast is a top tourism destination here. And click here to check out previous SCTIE press releases.
  To find out more about the KZN South Coast’s investment opportunities, contact 039 682 7944, email info@sctie.co.za or visit www.investkznsouthcoast.co.za.
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