Media Release: www.sanparks.org – a success story

In the world characterised by increasing visibility and business in the website environment South African National Parks (SANParks) reported today that it has achieved phenomenal growth in the performance of its website, www.sanparks.org in the last five years.

This was revealed at INDABA – South Africa’s premier tourism showcase currently running at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. SANParks Head of Communications, wanda mkutshulwa, told members of the media that since the launch of sanparks.org in November 2007, an impressive 3,087% growth in hits and 691% in visits has been recorded.

“This is a phenomenal performance even by world standards as very few websites in South Africa today can lay claim to such high figures.” The full figure for the 2009/2010 financial cycle was 1,083,321,506 hits, 2,973,841 unique visitors and 6, 124,061 visits.

She said top on the list in the website achievements is the growth in the web forum membership, which now stands at 18,348 members based all over the world, with over 612,000 number of active articles running.

In terms of country representation South Africa comes top at 53% followed by the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, France, Switzerland, Canada and Italy respectively.

According to Mkutshulwa the cherry on top has been the growth in revenue realised as a result of the online accommodation reservation system, which was launched in November 2007. “Since the launch of the bookings online SANParks has collected just under R124 million in accommodation revenue, with an impressive 98% increase year on year.”

She said the number of reservations made online has been an impressive 73,000, of which 39,000 of them were realised in the last financial cycle alone. “This sets a wonderful foundation for the growth of the SANParks website going forward. In this financial year the organisation aims to bring the website to the global community through the introduction of a number of ‘introductory pages’ in five of the world’s popular languages i.e. German, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. “We had hoped to introduce these pages before the 2010 FIFA World Cup but accept that this can only happen by August 2010 due to experienced logistical challenges.”

Mkutshulwa said SANParks also intends to introduce a new, fresh and vibrant look to the website by August 2010. “We hope and believe that our large community of website users will be as excited and impressed with these developments as they have been with the current website.”

She said SANParks is also experimenting with the use of social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. “We hope these new generation platforms will afford us an opportunity to continue growing sanparks.org to even greater heights.”

“Follow us on Twitter, join us on Facebook and view us on YouTube.”

Average Growth (Per Month) in website use since launch on 27 November 2004

Monthly Statistics

Old website
(parks-sa.gov.za)

March 2009

March 2010

Increase since 2004 launch

Visits

75,119

401,111

594,343

691%

Unique visitors

n/a

190,450

269,500

n/a

Page views

521,883

7,115,665

8,735,018

1,573%

Hits

3,122,241

67,138,188

99,529,926

3,087%

 

Issued on behalf of :
wanda mkutshulwa, SANParks, Head of Communications, cell: 082 908 2692 or e-mail: wandam@sanparks.org

Media Enquiries:
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli - GM: PR, Media and Stakeholder Relations, tel: (012) 426 5203, cell: 073 373 4999, e-mail: reyt@sanparks.org