On World Tourism Day 2018 – with its theme “Tourism and the Digital Transformation” – the Gauteng Tourism Authority has won the gold New Generation Social and Digital Media Award for Blogging Excellence.
This prestigious award, presented at a special function in the ballroom at Montecasino in Johannesburg on 27 September, recognises the consistently excellent quality of the Authority’s primary online presence: the blog on its website.
The blog showcases world-class attractions, exciting events and essential industry news across the Gauteng City Region, in engaging and compelling ways. Among the engagement statistics that enabled it to garner this award are the following:
- The GTA website attracted more than 720 000 visitors to the site between 1 June 2017 and 31 May 2018 (an increase of 11.25% year-on-year), with users viewing a total of 1.47-million pages (up 10.11% from 1.33-million pages in the same period the previous year)
- This equates to an average of around 1 970 visitors to the website every single day of the year
- Attraction entries were viewed 818 556 times between 1 June 2017 and 31 May 2018, and visitors spent an average of 2 minutes 26 seconds on entries, suggesting engagement with the content
- Blog posts on the GTA website were viewed 258 420 times during the same period, and visitors spent an average of 2 minutes 31 seconds on a blog page
- This amounts to more than 500 blog posts being viewed on average every day, for a length of time that clearly suggests users are reading and absorbing the content
- Some blog posts have been read more than 13 000 times
“Digital communications form the backbone of the Gauteng Tourism Authority’s marketing strategy, allowing us to maximise our efforts to promote and beneficiate our province, our attractions and our people,” says Barba Gaoganediwe, the Authority’s head of destination promotions and marketing.
“The United Nations World Tourism Organization’s secretary-general, Zurab Pololikashvili, is on record as saying that ‘harnessing innovation and digital advances provides tourism with opportunities to improve inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, amongst other objectives within the wider sustainable development agenda’.
“That we have been honoured with this New Generation Award on World Tourism Day is in keeping with this sentiment, and entirely appropriate. We are certainly thrilled to be living up to this ideal of World Tourism Day 2018, and of course with being recognised as doing so,” says Gaoganediwe.
Tara Turkington, CEO of the Gauteng Tourism Authority’s digital agency, Flow Communications, says she is equally delighted at the award.
“Strong, relevant, original blogging is essential to the success of any content marketing strategy, across websites and social media platforms. It takes time and dedication to build up a loyal and engaged audience, especially in the highly competitive tourism space.
“In this regard, the Gauteng Tourism Authority’s commitment to world-class digital communications is an inspiration to us. I would like to thank the Authority for giving us the opportunity to support them in showcasing our amazing province. Without them, this award-winning work would not have been possible,” says Turkington.