The West Coast Biodiversity Corridor, and the businesses and attractions that fall within this area, were recently successfully showcased to the world at the annual World Travel Market exhibition, which took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 15 – 17 April.
This exhibition brought in over 4000 visitors, all of which are directly involved in the travel and tourism industry – such as tour operators and travel agents.
“World Travel Market is the leading exhibition for the inbound and outbound African travel and tourism markets and we felt that it was essential for the West Coast Biodiversity Corridor to have a presence at this world-class event, which attracts many thousands of visitors,” says Carmen Lerm, founder and CEO of West Coast Way, the marketing initiative established to promote the West Coast Biodiversity Corridor.
“The exhibition was a great success and the Cape West Coast was well represented to visitors through attractions such as Thali Thali, !Khwa ttu, Elite Charters, and Darling Tourism – all of which are already planning a bigger and bolder presence at next year’s event.”
Showcasing the West Coast – “come get a taste of the Cape West Coast”
Lerm explains that the key objective behind West Coast Way taking a stand at World Travel Market was to promote the region covered by the West Coast Way routes.
“When we launched West Coast Way in October 2014 we designed two exciting circular self-drive routes called Culture and Foodie,” says Lerm. These routes, which can take between half a day to a full day to complete, depending on the amount of time spent at each stop point, create a way for people to easily visit the many wonderful attraction in the Biodiversity Corridor and showcase the very best locations and attractions on the Cape West Coast – including West Coast heritage sites, good food, superb wines and exciting activities.
“The routes are designed to showcase the diverse attractions and activities that are already on offer in the Biodiversity Corridor,” says Lerm. “Whether your focus is sightseeing, photo opportunities, history, culture, fauna and flora or adventure and activities. The West Coast Biodiversity Corridor has so much to offer and we feel that it is important that potential visitors see the bigger picture.”
“The West Coast is about the tastes, flavours and experiences – such as delicious Eland burgers and sundowners at !Khwa ttu, sampling Bokkoms in Saldanha Bay, a game drive and fantastic meal at Thali Thali game reserve, excellent wines, olives and cheeses in Darling. It’s about having fun with the family. It’s about the rich authentic experience, the vibrant “real” people, food and colours you will find here, the beautiful unspoilt environment and the myriad of attractions and activities that can be enjoyed.”
West Coast Way’s unique marketing approach paying dividends
Lerm explains that West Coast Way has identified that many visitors to Cape Town have a limited amount of time in the area and will not visit the West Coast in pursuit of one attraction only. Because of this West Coast Way markets the entire West Coast as a unit – portraying to visitors that many rich and diverse experiences await them on the West Coast.
“We are creating packaged tourism experiences by linking people’s Cape Town visit with the West Coast – highlighting to tourists that after they have explored Cape Town, been up Table Mountain and driven out to Cape Point, they then need to take a trip up the West Coast – which is just a short drive out of Cape Town.”
“We are also working with attractions in the Biodiversity Corridor promoting special offers that they are running – with great special offers and discounts coming up in the next four months,” says Lerm. “In addition to this we are promoting upcoming events taking place on the West Coast through a link on our website: www.westcoastway.co.za”
All of these initiatives from West Coast Way are producing results and many attraction on the Cape West Coast have reported increased visitors and activity since the inception of West Coast Way.
About West Coast Way
West Coast Way, headed by Carmen Lerm, is an initiative which actively markets and showcases the West Coast Biodiversity Corridor, thereby increasing visitor numbers and improving economic growth for locals. West Coast Way is Your Gateway to the Vibrant Cape West Coast, which offers plentiful heritage and adventure tourism locations and activities – two of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry.
The West Coast Biodiversity Corridor stretches from Blaauwberg to Saldanha and borders the Darling Heuwels along the scenic R27 highway. West Coast Way has developed two circular tour routes within the corridor that are being proactively marketed in an ongoing, planned and staged campaign that is generating focused interest on the attractions found along these routes. These routes are the Culture Route and the Foodie Route.
For more information on West Coast Way, the Biodiversity Corridor and the routes that have been developed, visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on 0861 321 777.