The #MeetSouthAfrica blog trip in May 2013 was a collaboration between South Africa Tourism (SAT) and iambassador. The project entailed inviting 15 international travel bloggers (8 iambassador bloggers and 7 bloggers from South Africa’s Watchlist markets) to experience the diversity of attractions in the country and use the bloggers’ channels to showcase the people of South Africa and their stories. The#MeetSouthAfrica blog trip was trulyhistoric in many respects. In the course of ten days, the bloggers, accompanied by representatives from SAT embarked on four different itineraries covering all nine provinces of South Africa – the largest travel blogger event of its kind in Africa. The trip culminated in the very first travel bloggers conference at Africa’s biggest travel trade fair, INDABA, in Durban on May 10th.
William Price (Global Manager, E-Marketing, SAT) spoke about the objectives of the project: “The bloggers will reveal how they ‘met’ and interacted with South Africa’s people to convey an intimate, personalised story about our beautiful destination. Through their extensive networks, their #MeetSouthAfrica experience will reach an audience of hundreds of thousands worldwide in real time. These bloggers’ stories are set to considerably increase awareness of South Africa and encourage potential travellers to seriously consider South Africa as their next holiday destination. The bloggers are covering fashion, lifestyle, travel and food, and are touring the country on four different itineraries crafted to expose them to a broad spectrum of activities, experiences, attractions and accommodation that South Africa has to offer”.
Broad-based social media exposure
The vans which transported the bloggers across the country were equipped with wifi, allowing the bloggers to share their experiences in real time. A multitude of social media channels were used, including Twitter, facebook, Instagram, Vine, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest, during the course of the trip.
#MeetSouthAfrica in numbers*
- 15 travel bloggers
- 4 itineraries
- 9 provinces
- 10,000+ tweets
- 89.3 million tweet impressions or ‘opportunities to see’
- 3.7 million twitter accounts reached
- 1,177 photos on Instagram
- 31,500 views within 12 hours of a single photo on Facebook posted by Uncornered Market
- 119,000+ views of Viajando con Diego’s bungy-jump video on YouTube
*as at 14th June 2013.
The first travel blogger conference at INDABA, Durban
The bloggers arrived in Durban to speak at and attend the first travel blogger conference at INDABA (Africa’s largest travel trade show). The travel blogger conference was oversubscribed and received 300 confirmations in just 48 hours.
At the conference, the bloggers discussed the changing face of destination marketing and the importance of personalised, user-generated content and social media engagement and its impact on the tourism trade. Keith Jenkins spoke about how bloggers contribute to destination marketing, Melvin Boecher spoke about the ROI of online media whilst Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott spoke passionately about responsible tourism and digital story-telling. As a consequence of the great interest in travel blogging and social media, a second session was held the next day at INDABA. iambassadors, Matt Long and Kate McCulley delivered an excellent presentation about how bloggers worked and the type of content generated during the #MeetSouthAfrica blog trip. During the Q&A, the iambassador bloggers answered questions from the audience.
Working with iAmbassador was an absolute pleasure. While we had high expectations, we were pleasantly surprised that the bloggers were as easy to work with as they were professional. Their general attitude to their work produced whilst in South Africa heightens our expectations that the posts will be of a high quality and are excited by the diverse skills and views that will share the story of #MeetSouthAfrica.
– South Africa Tourism
Read more about the #MeetSouthAfrica blog trip and watch the case study video produced by South Africa Tourism.