SOUTH AFRICA. Tourvest Destination Retail, a member of integrated tourism group Tourvest, says its revamped gift shop at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town has raised the standard in retail storytelling.

Tourvest Destination Retail Chief Executive Allison Graham said: “It’s new and refreshing. It takes its inspiration from the geometries and polished edges of a conch shell, adding some magic to the aquarium experience as opposed to simply being an afterthought.”

Graham noted that the new design was prompted by a number of developments, including the aquarium’s own recent refurbishments and the successful renewal of Tourvest’s contract to operate the gift shop.

Explore, experience, engage: The revamped store aims to immediately remind travellers of the place they are visiting

“Our commercial success has always been underpinned by our ability to capture the essence of a destination in a retail environment,” she said. “Our target market is driven by the travelling consumers and when they enter one of our shops, they must be immediately reminded of the place they are visiting.

“In revamping the gift shop at the Two Oceans Aquarium, we wanted it to be a visual extension of the aquarium’s slogan – explore, experience, engage.”

Tourvest has stocked the store with new merchandise that reflects the aquarium experience with a wide range of clothing, souvenirs, locally sourced arts and crafts, jewellery, books and stationery.

The Two Oceans Aquarium store debuted its new look in September

The company is also supporting the aquarium’s ‘Green Your Footprint’ initiative, aimed at raising awareness of the danger plastic poses to marine life. Tourvest has included a number of reusable shopping bags, bottles and mugs in its inventory.

“As with our other stores most of our product is sourced from local artists and crafters, which positively impacts on job creation and poverty alleviation,” commented Graham.

“Our commercial success has always been underpinned by our ability to capture the essence of a destination in a retail environment” – Allison Graham

Two Oceans Aquarium CEO Michael Farquhar said: “For more than a decade the Two Oceans Aquarium has enjoyed working with Tourist Destination Retail as our retail partners within the Aquarium.

“They have always brought a vibrant mix of merchandise which has added positively to the Aquarium visitor experience. They significantly upped their game when they transformed their old store into a modern ‘cutting edge’ retail concept which is extremely attractive and inviting. The new shop has transformed the feel in the foyer of the Aquarium and I have no doubt that it will be a hit with our visitors.”

Tourvest Destination Retail has 61 stores located at key tourism hubs in Southern Africa, from Cape Town to Victoria Falls. It also owns a further 16 stores in the Caribbean as well as two Out of India outlets in Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

Touvest’s Out of Africa shop at OR Tambo International has twice been voted the best destination retail shop at an airport by The Moodie Davitt Report’s Sense of Place awards.