One must salute SA Tourism in capitalising on Coldplay’s filming of its ‘Paradise’ music video in Cape Town, the Boland and the Karoo in marketing our country to tourists, something Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town Routes Unlimited had not thought of doing!

Coldplay performed in Cape Town and Johannesburg in October, and at short notice decided to film the music video for ‘Paradise’ in Cape Town, outside Paarl, on a game farm in the Karoo, and at its concert in Johannesburg.  The title of the song could not have been better chosen to reflect our beautiful country and city, and its popularity as a song, and as a fun and funky beautifully shot music video, has a tremendous tourism benefit for South Africa generally, and the Cape specifically, not costing the tourism authorities a cent.  The music video has had more than 44 million views to date, and the song has just started 2012 as the number one single on the UK hit charts, to the band’s own surprise in their Tweets.

SA Tourism is running a competition on a special Facebook promotion page, inviting those seeing the ‘Paradise’ music video on YouTube, to share with SA Tourism which part of the country ‘gives them inspiration in the same way it did for Coldplay’, reports the Australian eTravel Blackboard site.  The ten most imaginative, heartfelt, fun and spontaneous submissions from all over the world will be shortlisted, and put out to vote, to select the best. The winner will receive a 5-day holiday in South Africa, with the compliments of SA Tourism. The SA Tourism promotion proves that international tourism marketing does not need to cost the earth!

We would like to see lots more creative promotions and marketing of our country and the Cape from the tourism authorities this year, especially to the UK market, which has seen a massive drop-off, and has been our region’s tourism bread-and-butter.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage