Connect with us

People 'n' Issues

Gauteng goes virtual at Tourism Indaba



The Gauteng Tourism Authority has launched an online campaign allowing Gautengers to virtually experience the Tourism Indaba in Durban. It also encouraged the people of Gauteng to share their personal experiences of the province through film, photography and social media. Participants could upload film and pictures to the ‘I Love Gauteng’ Facebook page and in doing so stood a chance to win an iPad2.

As South Africa’s economic heart, Gauteng is often overlooked as not only Africa’s gateway but as an exciting tourism destination in its own right. But the ever-enigmatic province holds countless secrets that visitors will be both surprised and delighted to discover. In the hustle of daily life, Gauteng’s tremendous cultural wealth, extensive calendar of events and world-class leisure, sporting and retail facilities are often as unknown to locals as they are to visitors. And so, with all the mystic and romance of a burlesque performance troupe, the Gauteng Tourism Authority revealed its wonders to the universe on last week at Durban’s Tourism Indaba 2011, the third largest event of its kind in the world.

Housed under a grand replica of the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge, Gauteng’s Great & Secret Show will highlight the best of the province’s six regions and its Cradle of Humankind along with virtual installations dedicated to Visual Art, Fashion, Sport and Retail. In the spirit of the travelling shows that entertained Johannesburg in its early days as a mining town, the showcase will draw on the senses and incorporate a host of intimate Gauteng experiences, allowing the visitor to experience the province in ways you’d never expect at a Trade Exhibition.

As a 21st Century showcase however, we have also translated the experience into a range of applications embracing New Media, along with internet campaigns and electronic media, all allowing Gautengers to engage with the showcase on air and online at the same time as visitors experience it in Durban.

Indeed, whenever visitors ask what makes Gauteng special, one replies, ‘the people’ and so who better than the ever-accessible and candid Gautengers to tell their stories and share their passion for the amazing place they live in, explained GTA CEO Dawn Roberson.

The Gauteng Tourism led My Gauteng campaign encourages the people of Gauteng to share their thoughts, visions and personal experiences of the province through film, photography and social media. The My Gauteng Campaign has just been launched on the ‘I Love Gauteng’ Facebook page (which in turn is linked to

In this call to action, GTA has invited Gautengers to make 45 second cellphone films about their favourite places in the province as well as upload images they feel are most iconic of Gauteng. In so doing Gautengers, will play a key role in expressing their identity but also be in line to win an iPad2.

And so Gauteng’s Great & Secret Show will unfold on many platforms at the same time. Imagine the Sound Vortex a darkened sound tunnel where Gauteng’s distinctive sounds have been captured and arranged as an aural experience by musician, Joao Orecchia. In Gauteng Sounds Great visitors will be able to select regions on a map and plug in to MP3 players to hear new music coming out of Gauteng. A vast Welcome Screen will allow visitors to experience everything from a virtual 800 km/ph ride on the Gautrain to virtual fashion shows and art exhibitions, great sporting moments or the Orlando Towers bungee leap over Soweto.

Ultimately, the showcase will position Gauteng as not only the nation, but the continent’s cultural heart. A rarely seen selection of objects from PACE2010, the landmark Pan African Craft Exhibition curated for the Fifa World Cup in Johannesburg will be on display in Durban, capturing the textures and vision of the continent at its most contemporary.

Giant puppets from the Joburg Carnival, dancers from the acclaimed ‘Moving into Dance’ ensemble and a spoken word poet will enchant and entertain you, leading up to a fashion show that will showcase Gauteng’s design talent on the recreated Nelson Mandela Bridge. And so, with all the nostalgic charm of a travelling Vaudeville caravan and the techno-savvy of social and multiple media platforms, Gauteng’s Great & Secret Show will transport you back to the future. Wherever you are we hope you will join us in hearing, touching, feeling and experiencing the magic of Gauteng. After all, as you well know, It Starts Here!