Noth­ing’s more fun than a Sho’t Left in SA

CityPress - - Careers - Thu­lani Nz­ima CEO SA Tourism

South Africa cel­e­brated World Tourism Day on Septem­ber 27 and it was a good time to re­flect on our vi­brant lo­cal travel in­dus­try.

At SA Tourism, our mes­sage is Noth­ing’s More Fun than a Sho’t Left. We re­ally mean it. In our fast­paced world of dead­lines and de­liv­er­ables, it’s not only ad­vis­able to take a hol­i­day or make time for a get­away, it’s es­sen­tial for our health and well­be­ing, and it’s good for our loved ones too.

What bet­ter way to re­con­nect with your­self and with loved ones than by vis­it­ing the greater iSi­man­gal­iso Wet­land Park, tak­ing a trip along Mpumalanga’s Panorama Route, head­ing to the Free State for some R&R, tak­ing to Dur­ban’s sunny beaches or ex­plor­ing the vast North­ern Cape?

Of course, cost is and has al­ways been a fac­tor when it comes to af­ford­able travel, and I would like to en­cour­age City Press read­ers and all South Africans to take a look at the fan­tas­tic of­fers on our Sho’t Left web­site (www.shotleft.co.za).

There is some­thing for ev­ery bud­get and ev­ery taste. And the great deals keep on com­ing, thanks to our lo­cal travel and tourism in­dus­try, which knows it needs to invest in our do­mes­tic mar­ket, and that means you.

The Sho’t Left cam­paign has def­i­nitely come of age and there has been an ex­cel­lent re­ac­tion to the cam­paign to date, with more than 200 000 vis­its to the web­site by July 25 this year and a 25% re­turn rate. That means one in four users re­turns to the site to check for new deals.

What I find par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing is that the av­er­age stay on the web­site is almost six min­utes. This shows that users are en­gag­ing with the con­tent and are mak­ing book­ings.

You won’t find a bet­ter deal any­where else. At SA Tourism, we are work­ing closely with lo­cal trade and key part­ners to make sure travel is not only ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able, but rel­e­vant to do­mes­tic tourists.

There have def­i­nitely been chal­lenges in grow­ing do­mes­tic tourism in South Africa. This sec­tor con­trib­uted R24.3 bil­lion to the econ­omy last year and 12 mil­lion do­mes­tic tourists took 25.1 mil­lion trips.

We are aim­ing for a tar­get of 18 mil­lion do­mes­tic tourists by 2020 and need to pull out all the stops to make sure tourism is ac­ces­si­ble to all South Africans from all walks of life.

The theme for Tourism Month this year was Trans­form­ing Lives and I can only en­cour­age ev­ery South African to get out there and ex­plore our mag­nif­i­cent coun­try – not only be­cause of the fun fac­tor, but be­cause it cre­ates jobs and changes lives (es­pe­cially yours).

This year, South Africa’s World Tourism Day cel­e­bra­tions took place in the North­ern Cape – the land of big skies and lu­nar land­scapes. If you haven’t been to this prov­ince, I urge you to go. There is so much to ex­plore and ex­pe­ri­ence, from the mighty Au­gra­bies Falls to the his­toric sights of Kim­ber­ley and ev­ery­thing in be­tween. I also urge you to spend some time with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, and con­sider vis­it­ing com­mu­nity attractions and es­tab­lish­ments.

I look for­ward to grow­ing our lo­cal tourism in­dus­try, and see­ing you some­where along the road as you live and ex­pe­ri­ence the fact that Noth­ing’s More Fun than a Sho’t Left.

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