The award, presented at Montecasino in Johannesburg on Thursday, 27 September, aims to recognise the quality of the GTA's primary online presence: the blog on its website.

The blog aims to showcase world-class attractions, events and essential industry news, across the Gauteng City Region, in engaging and compelling ways. Among the engagement statistics that enabled it to garner this award are the following (according to the GTA):
  • The GTA website attracted more than 720 000 visitors between 1 June 2017 and Thursday, 31 May (an increase of 11.25% year-on-year), with users viewing a total of 1.47 million pages (up 10.11% from 1.33 million pages in the same period the previous year).
  • This equates to an average of around 1 970 visitors to the website every single day of the year.
  • Attraction entries were viewed 818 556 times between 1 June 2017 and Thursday, 31 May, and visitors spent an average of two minutes and 26 seconds on entries, suggesting engagement with the content.
  • Blog posts on the GTA website were viewed 258 420 times during the same period, and visitors spent an average of two minutes 31 seconds on a blog page.
  • This amounts to more than 500 blog posts being viewed on average every day, for a length of time that clearly suggests users are reading and absorbing the content.
  • Some blog posts have been read more than 13 000 times.
"Digital communications form the backbone of the Gauteng Tourism Authority’s marketing strategy, allowing us to maximise our efforts to promote and beneficiate our province, our attractions and our people," says Barba Gaoganediwe, the GTA's head of destination promotions and marketing.

"The United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s secretary general, Zurab Pololikashvili, is on record as saying that ‘harnessing innovation and digital advances provide the tourism industry with opportunities to improve inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, among other objectives within the wider sustainable development agenda’.

"That we have been honoured with this New Generation Award on World Tourism Day is in keeping with this sentiment, and entirely appropriate. We are certainly thrilled to be living up to this ideal of World Tourism Day 2018, and of course with being recognised as doing so," says Gaoganediwe.

Tara Turkington, CEO of the GTA's digital agency, Flow Communications, says she is equally delighted at the award.

"Strong, relevant, original blogging is essential to the success of any content marketing strategy, across websites and social media platforms. It takes time and dedication to build up a loyal and engaged audience, especially in the highly competitive tourism space," says Turkington.

"In this regard, the Gauteng Tourism Authority’s commitment to world-class digital communications is an inspiration to us. I would like to thank the Authority for giving us the opportunity to support them in showcasing our amazing province. Without them, this award-winning work would not have been possible," Turkington adds.

For more information, visit You can also follow Gauteng Tourism Authority on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.