A trip to Johannesburg to make sense of that city as a tourist destination for some decent content on CapeInfo's Johannesburg destination pages is set to deliver far more. CapeInfo has had a large number of Gauteng businesses listed in our directory for many years - attracted by the fact that CapeInfo is a global internet gateway for international travellers. What did we find in Johannesburg?
Johannesburg & Gauteng is appallingly packaged as a discretionary tourist destination. Nothing demonstrates this better than the fact that tourism accounts for 4.5% of Gauteng's GDP. In the Western Cape it's 12.5% and the target for 2015 is 15%. The international average is 9%.
Many Johannesburg accommodation establishments reflect on how fortunate they are not to have the Western Cape's seasonality. But they have their own seasons, which are as bad if not worse. Most Joburg businesses do well from Mondays to Thursdays, and then are close to empty from Fridays to Sundays.
Another telling statistic came from the National Treasury: "The Western Cape has the largest share (37.2%) of accommodations that are graded, followed by Gauteng (20.1%)." Now seeing this doesn't reflect real numbers on the ground, what does it reflect...?
Most travellers headed for the coast or a safari experience arrive in Johannesburg first, but many spend only one night in transit (if at all). A frequent comment is that getting around Joburg takes far longer than they anticipated, and they were not aware of how many world class attractions there are in the city.
So... CapeInfo has acquired JoburgInfo.com which will be launched shortly to repackage and promote Johannesburg and Gauteng... and its role as a gateway to neighbouring provinces. It will use CapeInfo's existing database so content added there now will also appear on the new site. CapeInfo will continue to promote Johannesburg on the current site as part of the national offering.
The need for a single gateway brand for Gauteng enjoyed overwhelming support at a rather excellent conference held in Joburg a week ago. Click here to read about that. It's really worth following the outcomes of that conference.
We don't believe that brand can be anything but "Johannesburg". We believe that, like the Cape's Winelands are part of Cape Town's offerings, destinations like Magaliesburg and even some destinations in neighbouring provinces need to be promoted as part of Johannesburg's offerings.
Magaliesburg and other destinations are all part of Johannesburg's offerings
Content for JoburgInfo.com is being grown at present and we are looking at a photographic competition to discover Gauteng's icons. Gauteng may not have Lady Liberty, Sydney Bridge or an Eiffel Tower, nor a Table Mountain, but then neither does Melbourne, which has been notably successful. Events can be equally iconic - like Cape Town's Minstrel Carnival and the Two Oceans Cycle Tour.
You can follow progress until the new site is lanched on Twitter and Facebook.
What else caught our eye?
There's always a stream of new places being added to CapeInfo's directory, but two in neighbouring towns Robertson and Montagu really stood out.
Orange Grove Farm
Majestic mountains, crystal clear waterfalls, and abundant fauna and flora - at Orange Grove Farm guests can discover the wonders of nature, choose from a vast range of outdoor activities, or succumb to the peace, quiet and tranquility. Read more...
Luxury self-catering accommodation in Montagu. Ideal for a romantic getaway. The perfect destination for honeymoons and wedding anniversaries. Read more...
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