Social Media for DMO’s

It’s a long one: you may prefer to read the articles on line. Here are the links:

Social Media for DMOs

Ranch Skydiving Boogie: an unusual event for your guests And you

Skydive for Rhinos: Go here to support me to tandem skydive for the cause (or read the article on line here)

Book review: I have a helluva problem with Cape Restaurants

On Monday this week I was honoured to speak at the annual Western Cape Government Tourism, Arts and Entertainment Plenary Session in Cape Town. The session was hosted by the Western Cape’s Minister for Finance, Economic Development & Tourism, Alan Winde.

Basically what I said was this: with budgets shrinking everywhere, and – more importantly – with the arrogant, one-way push marketing that we’ve always used losing its luster (and its effectiveness; definitely its effectiveness), destination marketing organisations can’t afford to pretend that business the way they’ve always done it is going to fool the taxpayers for very much longer.

Because it no longer works.

Marketing these days is a two-way street, I told the minister and the audience, and I have a dream: to close every information office in the Cape, and to re-open them as conversation offices.

Because we’re going to get people to visit us in the future by inviting them personally.

As my friend and colleague Ron Mader ( said: “Selling tourism: instead of doing things for other people, it’s now about doing things with them. And it’s about changing from ‘I went there’ to ‘Hey! Someone invited me!’”

This is what social media has done: it’s opened the lines of communication. Now it’s our task to use them.

I think you might enjoy my presentation: you can see it, download it, embed it in your web site, facebook page, or blog here or watch it on YouTube here.

And if you want me to speak to your organisation – I’m available. And I can do it on line or in person. Contact me: and let’s see how we can get you over your fear of the biggest thing that’s ever happened to marketing. Ever. EVER.

Ranch Skydiving Boogie: an unusual event for your guests. And a possible women’s skydiving record, too

Sixteen women plan to set a South African record for formation skydiving during this year’s Ranch SkyDiving Boogie and Symposium 2012, which starts on National Woman’s Day (Thursday the 9th of August), and ends on Sunday the 12th.

The Boogie will be hosted for the second year running by SkyDive Rustenburg at the luxurious Protea Hotel Ranch Resort, near Polokwane, inSouth Africa’s Limpopo Province.

“Actually we’re going to try for two South African Skydiving records this year”, said Mike Rumble, who is coordinating the Boogie in cooperation with Graham Field.

“The Sport Skydivers Association (SSA) Formation Skydiving Committee will try for the all female South African 16-way formation skydiving record on Womens Day, and the Artistic Events Committee will be building up to an ambitious South African FreeFly record.

“Both attempts will be overseen by skydiving judges from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI, the World Air Sports Federation).”

Mr. Rumble explained that FreeFly is a faster, more fluid, more expressive method of skydiving.

“In the traditional belly-to-earth style, you skydive with your arms spread, your head back, and, literally, your belly facing the earth: but in FreeFly, you move around and allow your head or your feet to face downwards, and you fly around each other, and carve and weave in free-flow formation.”

But the Ranch SkyDiving Boogie and Symposium isn’t only about breaking records: the symposium will include presentations (some of which will be open to the public), social events, and, of course, skydiving.

“We’re hoping that people who are interested in the sport – or people who just want to jump for the fun of it – will come along and enjoy an introductory tandem skydive,” said Mr. Rumble. “But as South Africa’s biggest gathering of people who love the sport, the Boogie has an important social role to play, too.

“Very few black South Africans have come into skydiving, and this is a situation we’re working hard to address.

“This is one of the reasons why the Boogie is open to the public: we want to attract new talent, and to increase participation amongst all sectors of the South African family.”

There’s no charge for spectators, nor for entrance to the presentations which will be held at various times during the weekend.

Public presentations include ‘The History of Skydiving Equipment’ by Boss Doug (a former military parachute technician, and a civilian and military parachute jump instructor); ‘The Red Bull X-Alps – Walking, Running, Climbing, Crawling and Paragliding across the Alps’ by Pierre Carter and James Braid (who’ve entered the RedBull X-Alps twice and are now planning to fly off the seven highest peaks in the world); and ‘The 400-way World Record Largest Freefall Formation’ by Paul ‘Simba’ Marcellin (who was one of three South Africans who travelled to Thailand to be part of this world record).

The Boogie will also serve as a skills camp for various skydiving disciplines, and symposia open to licensed skydivers will include a canopy skills seminar hosted by the SSA Canopy Piloting Committee; a discussion for current and prospective coaches on new teaching methods, and how they will affect jumper licenses (with Julie Teague – SSA Chairperson for Artistic Events): and a lecture on the effects of altitude on the human physique and psyche by SANDF HALO skydiving instructor at 44 Parachute Regiment Major Laurel ‘Thatch’ Thatcher.

“The Protea Hotel Ranch Resort is a superior 4-star hotel in a 1,000 hectare malaria free nature conservancy, and it’s just 20 minutes from Polokwane or 2 hours fromPretoria – so it’s perfect for a day out or a short breakaway.

“With everything that’s going down that weekend (pardon the pun), it might be a good idea to make your reservations now,” said Mr. Rumble.

The Ranch SkyDiving Boogie and Symposium 2012 (Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 August) is sanctioned by the Parachute Association of South Africa (PASA). Some of the funds raised will be donated to the Skydive For Rhinos campaign.

More information:

The Ranch SkyDiving Boogie and Symposium 2012 on Facebook

Protea Hotel Ranch Resort

Tandem skydiving bookings  / 078 029 4803

Event organiser Mike Rumble / 082 926 3591

Skydive For Rhinos: make your pledge or donate now

As we start the countdown to the first Skydive for Rhinos event of 2012 – at Skydive Rustenburg, 27 – 29 July – the campaign’s chief fundraiser, marketer and communications officer, Sheelagh Antrobus, reports that 272 rhinos have been killed by poachers this year.

That’s one rhino dead every 15 hours.

But Sheelagh also said that R 3,5 million has already been raised (one million in cash and a further R 2,8 million in pledges) as more than 400 extra-ordinary South Africans prepare to Skydive for Rhinos.

“This is a national campaign that will distribute 100% of the money raised to improving anti-poaching measures across the country,” she said.

Skydive for Rhinos is organised by KwaZulu-Natal’s African Conservation Trust, and celebrities and businesses, pensioners, students, and hundreds of others are joining together to raise a total of R 10 million.

“Everyone who has signed up will skydive with a tandem jumpmaster from 10,000 feet – but first they have to raise a minimum of R 5,000,” said Sheelagh.

Most of this money will go to the African Conservation Trust – and only the cost of the skydive (which includes the plane, equipment, jumpmaster, and fuel) will be deducted.

As you’ll know by now, I’ve challenged Western Cape Tourism MEC Alan Winde to jump – and he’s accepted.

So now I have to raise my R 5,000.

Will you help?

You can make your pledge by e-mail:, or you can donate online at

And if you want to take part yourself, you can sign up at – or get your registration form from

Book review: I have a helluva problem with Cape Restaurants

In the course of my work, I don’t travel to the other provinces much, but I do go to KwaZulu-Natal now and then, and of course, being as I live in Knysna, I eat out in the Cape quite often.

One thing I’ve noticed: you can get an interesting variety of vegetarian food in almost any restaurant inDurban. But in theCape? Chefs think vegetarians live on pasta, feta cheese, and spinach.

So I’ll let you in on a secret: we don’t.

There are three reasons why you need to know this: firstly because I’m a veggie myself, and if – as happened on Monday – it’s cold and rainy and I walk into your cutesy Victorian-style farm stall and want something to eat, I don’t want to be offered a Greek salad, and nothing else. (True story: everything else on the menu – at a farm stall! Where they sell vegetables! – was made with meat or chicken.)

Secondly because it’s insensitive to other cultures: if you’re halal or kosher, or perhaps Buddhist, I expect you’ll also be likely to choose the vegetarian option. If there is one. And if you haven’t had it in a million other restaurants already.

Or maybe you’ll just stay away (and we all know how tourism thrives when visitors stay away).

And the third reason you need to know that there are more three things on the vegetarian diet is because the world is moving to a more considered, better researched way of eating which is high on protein and low on carbs (as opposed to the high carb, low fat option first espoused – for largely political reasons – by American nutritionists whose science was questionable but whose influence was immense. Read Gary Taubes ‘Good calories, Bad calories’).

And so it’s out of my good-hearted desire to educate you that I recommend Colette Heimowitz’s ‘The new Atkins new you cookbook.’

It’ll open your grill-burned, spinach-covered eyes to the fact that there is a wealth of interesting food to be had. Vegetarian and otherwise.

The book begins with a basic introduction to the now famous diet, and you can skip that if you’re a chef: what’s important here are the recipes – divided as usual into the different meals of the day, and with chapters on important specialties like deserts.

And a whole section on vegetarian cooking, too.

Tempeh-roasted cauliflower and peppers with curried cashew sauce anyone? Imagine seeing that on a restaurant menu. Yumgasm!

20 gm Net carbs; 24 gm total carbs; 4 gm fibre; 19 gm proteins; 31 gm fat; 430 calories.

And here, you see, this is what’s really interesting about this cookbook – all the recipes come with this kind of nutritional information.

Maybe you want to pay attention: with an increasing understanding that it’s carbs and sugars that are making us obese and diabetic, I predict that your guests are going to start demanding this kind of information on your menus in the future.

That and the fact that I would like some variety when I go out to eat.

Buy ‘The new Atkins new you cookbook’ at the BarefootBookshop – or direct from

Now go away on holiday – it’s in the economy’s best interests.
… And in the meantime… have a GREAT tourism week!

Martin Hatchuel
– BarefootWriter

Want To Advertise to more than 10,000 names in the Tourism Industry? Want to tap into the power of internet marketing? Want to speak to my audience? Mail me – – and let’s see how This Tourism Week can work for you.

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