France's Visit Has Created Long-term Benefits For Knysna

2nd July 2010

"The town received an incredible amount of exposure. Knysna, and not just the team, was featured regularly on a variety of European television channels. We appointed French students who helped out at Knysna Tourism and their parents called them to say Knysna was featured on every television channel in France. In addition, we had feedback from some of our residents currently in the UK, telling us the same."
Van Eck said the town had realised that the fans would stay in the host cities. "We realised that we had to maximise our exposure during this time to make sure people got to know Knysna, enticing them to book new visits to the area post World Cup.  With the help of the Alliance Française we 'imported' a French journalist who was the key to making contact with the French media. He spent every day at the Knysna Tourism information kiosk at the French media centre and was inundated with calls and enquiries. We organised trips to our top tourist attractions for the media during their off time, making sure they got to see and experience every aspect of our beautiful area. These visits were very successful and we received great feedback - we have created ambassadors for life."
Knysna Tourism set up and promoted 15 different tourism experiences for the media from both France and Denmark. "The outing to watch the elephants play soccer at the Knysna Elephant Park was a big hit with both French and Danish media," said Van Eck. "I must compliment the team at this attraction for coming up with a winning news story with which we could partner." Knysna Tourism also manned a point at the Danish media facilities and will leverage the awareness to attracting visitors from the Scandanavian market.
In addition to the international exposure, the town will also benefit from various legacy projects announced by both the Danish and the French. "Multiple sport facilities will be upgraded as well as specified training for sport development staff. In addition, the municipality is also in the process of setting up a twinning agreement with Gujan-Mestras, a similar tourist town on the French Atlantic coast. Gujan-Mestras' main industry is oyster growing and tourism, and we are looking forward to working with them to create opportunities for both," said Van Eck.