Luxury African travel company Mahlatini has launched a new social media campaign to support Rhino conservation in Africa.

Mahlatini, who are based in Belfast, enlisted the help of online marketing specialists Web Marketplace Solutions (WMpS) to develop the campaign, which is intended to raise awareness of the luxury travel operator and the serious issue of illegal Rhino poaching.

The Mahlatini team have all lived or travelled extensively in Africa and are passionate about the continent. The company’s name is even a Zulu word meaning ‘love of the African bush’. The campaign, which will be conducted solely through social media channels, has been developed by WMpS in response to this dedication within the company to preserve Africa’s beautiful landscape and wildlife.

Meghan Burton, SEO and Social Media Manager at WMpS said ‘Social media is a great outlet for Mahlatini to connect and communicate with their customers and their growth on Facebook over the last 12 months, from 104 to 650 followers, illustrates how this approach is working for them. Combining the philanthropy inherent within the company with social media was a natural step for us to make. The campaign will elevate Mahlatini’s social media profile as well as helping to raise awareness of this serious conservation issue. We're aiming to develop even more growth on their Facebook and Twitter profiles in addition to gaining some natural links and awareness.’

The campaign features a competition with Rhino sponsorships as prizes. Entrants are required to simply spread the word through social media – on a blog or website, or through Facebook and Twitter. They can enter via all three methods and the winners will receive a whole host of benefits including a cuddly toy Rhino, a fact book and regular updates on their Rhino.

Greg Fox of Mahlatini said ‘We are delighted with the approach WMpS have taken with this campaign. In 2009 in South Africa alone, 122 Rhinos were butchered for their horns and the figure nearly tripled in 2010. As an organisation that benefits from the beauty of this amazing continent it’s only right that we use our profile to help raise awareness of this delicate situation. Otherwise, future generations will not be able to experience seeing this unique and fascinating animal in its natural environment –only in zoos.’

This campaign forms the latest stage of activity for a wider online strategy that WMPS have developed with Mahlatini. The competition will run until 20th May 2011 and more details on the competition and campaign can be found on the Mahlatini website www.mahlatini.com/stop-rhino-poaching.

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Media enquiries: Victoria Yates on 0845 862 0416 (ext 7021) or victoriay@wmps.com

Notes for editors:

Mahlatini

Mahlatini is a luxury travel operator specialising in trips to Africa. Named after the Zulu word meaning ‘lover of the African bush’ the company operates holidays to 13 African countries including Botswana, South Africa, Kenya and Mauritius.

The company, which is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland has been operating for over 9 years and is a division of Luxury Travel Ltd. Mahlatini is a member of the Travel Trust Association, ATOL and Advancing Tourism to Africa (ATTA).

For further information about Mahlatini, visit www.mahlatini.com

WMpS

Web Marketplace Solutions (WMpS), are a full service digital agency specialising in online home shopping. Founded in 2000 they provide e-commerce solutions, effective marketing, inspirational and exciting design and content uploading services for the home shopping, fashion and homeware, travel and tourism and charity sectors. The company is based in the East Yorkshire town of Beverley and has an office in Malaysia. The company’s revolutionary e-commerce platform Redfish was launched in 2009.

For further information about Web Marketplace Solutions, visit www.wmps.com
For further information on Redfish please see www.wmps.com/ecommerce

Published on: 11:27AM on 4th April 2011