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Canadian wins first prize in Cape Town Facebook competition

Canadian wins first prize in Cape Town Facebook competition ( When Jan van der Leeuw entered the competition in snowy Canada and sent her Facebook profile off to explore the Mother City, she hardly imagined that she would be the recipient of an all-expenses-paid holiday to Cape Town for herself and her husband – but win she did.

Thousands of people played the interactive Facebook game after it was launched by Cape Town Tourism in September 2012 to promote the destination. The first prize was an all-expenses-paid trip to Cape Town, courtesy of Cape Town Tourism and Virgin Atlantic Airways, with a second prize week-long holiday for a domestic traveler, and a third prize of long-haul flights on Virgin Atlantic Airways. On December 31, 2012 the competition closed and the lucky winners of a real Cape Town experience were announced on Friday, January 25, 2013.

Van der Leeuw entered the competition and sent her Facebook profile off to explore the Mother City. Not convinced that she would be the recipient of the fully-inclusive trip (but eager to see Cape Town nevertheless) she booked a holiday to Cape Town for herself and her husband for April 2013. She was shocked when she was told that she had in fact won the competition and would be visiting Cape Town not once but twice; when she takes up her prize in the bustling World Design Capital year: 2014.

The second prize (for a South African) of a week-long hosted Cape Town experience went to Nadia Jeffries. Marianne Bitter, of the Netherlands, won the two air tickets for being the player who got the most friends to play the Facebook game. Bitter was in the Cape five years ago and says she is excited at being able to return.

Comments CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold: “The Facebook game has been an exciting project for us and one which demonstrates the incredible power of sharing on social media. Gaming is a massive global trend right now that almost goes beyond marketing and into a creative play space for a brand. Many of the major tourism destination marketing organizations globally have also begun incorporating gamification into their strategies, too. We researched this field extensively before embarking on our campaign, and we have learnt a lot in the process.”

During the four-month-long campaign 8,212 people played the Facebook game. Players of the game came from South Africa, the UK, USA, India, and Germany - by order of participants.

All players of the Facebook game will now be included on Cape Town Tourism’s visitor database and will be given first opportunity to participate in new campaigns, while receiving regular updates about new developments and special deals in Cape Town.

As of June 2012, Facebook was reported to have 955 million active monthly users worldwide. Social media – and Facebook in particular – has a great influence over consumer choices, especially in the travel sector where visuals and friend recommendations are key. It is clear that social media is now of paramount importance for travel authorities. and Cape Town Tourism has invested much time in researching and developing their online and social media presence.

Although the competition is closed, social media mavens can still send their Facebook profiles to test-drive a Cape Town holiday by visiting

MEDIA CONTACT: Cape Town Tourism, PR and Communications Manager Skye Grove, Email: , Phone: +27 21 487 6800, Web: ; Rabbit in a Hat Communications, Tammy White, Phone: +27 21 448 9705, +27 73 202 5041, Email:

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