Gauteng Tourism Authority website.

At the end of 2010 Flow was given the official thumbs up from the Gauteng Tourism Authority, after successfully completing phase one of the tourism body’s new-look website.

As the project team forges ahead with the next phase, the aim is not only to grow awareness of what tourism products are available to visitors and residents in the province, but also to employ social media to generate online community support for tourism ventures in Gauteng’s different regions.

The portal for all things tourism and travel in Gauteng – www.gauteng.net – now features some 200 visitor attractions, with content ranging from cultural and historic places of interest to the province’s World Heritage Site and national monuments, together with directions and information on opening times, entry fees, contact details, nearby attractions and a few lines on what makes this hotspot special.

The fact sheets on the media site have been beefed up too. Members of the media who register on the site can now access and download fact sheets on each of Gauteng’s six municipal regions, as well as information pages relating to the provincial legislature, pink tourism, regional languages, taxi lingo and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.

Soon the website will include 50 profiles of Gauteng’s most prominent individuals, those characters who have shaped industry, art and politics across the province. At present, the site boasts 20 write-ups of Gautengers who have made their mark.

The daily updates remain the most popular content area on the site: Blogs, as well as snapshots of the province, bring the website to life. Weekly photo stories tell a visual tale of Gauteng and are well received by the online community.

Most impressive, however, is the growing uptake of Facebook and Flickr membership. To date, the “I love Gauteng” Facebook page has 157 members, the Gauteng Flickr group has 86 members, and the Twitter feed is being followed by 134 people.

Flow’s goal is to grow the presence of each of Gauteng’s regions in a targeted manner. The next phase will see the inclusion of more visitor attractions and profiling of niche tourism routes throughout the province. The site will also direct visitors to unique landing pages for niche tourism interests – from avian to adventure tourism.

On the business and tourism industry pages, visitors can expect additional news and blog feeds linking them up with independent destination marketing organisations.

With strong support from each of the regions and the Gauteng Tourism Authority, Flow aims to deliver a superb final product that will grow interest in the province and create a loyal following of online supporters.

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