Call to join cam­paign to boost tourism

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

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

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