Call to join campaign to boost tourism
THE chief executive of Tourism SA this week called on all South Africans to promote tourism to help improve the local economy.
“The #Idotourism and #Wedotourism (campaign) is a movement and call to action for all South Africans. We all have a role to play in tourism,” Ntshona said during the launch of Tourism Month at Dunkeld Country Estate in Mpumalanga.
The chief executive said that Tourism Month was about showcasing different provinces and that the aim was to profile and elevate the status of tourism.
“We are in a tight economic environment. Tourism is one of the sectors that we believe can pull us out of this place.”
Ntshona urged South Africans from each province to find and promote what was unique about their region and how they could contribute to tourism and not replicate other provinces.
“It’s about general patriotism and hospitality and how we treat tourists, because the more hospitable we are, the better it is for our economy.”
The evening was vibrant and colourful, with a programme filled with local entertainment.
Earlier, the MEC of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism of Mpumalanga, Sikhumbuzo Kholwane, had said the province was focused on tourism despite the low budget that was allocated for it.
“The role of municipalities is critical in dealing with the matters of tourism.”
He added that a working arrangement would be organised between the province’s neighbouring countries, Mozambique and Swaziland, to boost tourism.
Minister of Tourism Thokozile Xasa was the guest speaker at the event. She said the government and the private sector had to come together to promote aspects of the country that would draw tourists and assist economic growth.
“We need to tell more good stories of our country, and tourism presents that opportunity,” she said.
Xasa added that South Africans needed to travel in the country in order for them to appreciate it.
In so doing, “each of us can leave a financial footprint, that’s how we leave money in these places,” the minister said.
She called on South Africans to ensure that the country was receptive and everyone understood the value of making tourism profitable.
“Tourism is about loving who you are and instilling the dignity of the people. We want Tourism Month to make us commit to supporting businesses,” Xasa said. – ANA