Promoting Domestic Tourism in South Africa
Through their support of Fikile Hlatshwayo’s book ‘Blacks Do Caravan’, South African Tourism aims to inspire families to travel. The book encourages South Africans to visit local destinations and to discover the therapeutic nature of camping along with the inherent beauty of the country.
The theme of universal accessibility was linked to the national campaign of #Tourismforall – South African Tourism’s contribution to the UNWTO global theme for World Tourism Day 2016 – an initiative geared towards enabling all South Africans to enjoy travel opportunities in their own country.
Universal accessibility not only talks to the need to ensure that establishments can accommodate persons with disabilities but it also considers socio-economic factors. This basically comes down to how those who are hindered in some way shouldn’t disregard travel in any way, be it a disability, age, or budget, everybody deserves to explore this beautiful country.
According to Hlatshwayo’s book ‘Blacks Do Caravan’, her travels took her to over 60 caravan and camping parks across the country, a mode of travel she’d never considered before, where she discovered that caravan camping can be used as a tool to unite South Africans.
“I learnt many things during this journey. Most importantly was about how close a camping community can be and how people look out for one another. This was a life-changing and enriching experience for me and my family.
“In a caravan park there is no sense of fear, no walls and all security features. There is a sense of belonging, connectivity with your inner self and, of course, the liberation nature has to offer,” says Hlatshwayo.
The therapeutic nature of camping discovered by Hlatshwayo was that when she started this trip she was diagnosed with excessive ‘burnout’; a condition that has become prevalent in this country due to work pressure, among other things. While on the trip she found fulfilment and healing. She appealed to the Ministry of Tourism specifically to do more in promoting such camping adventures, which can also be a job creation tool.
Caravan camping is one of the most affordable forms with which to enjoy a holiday or short break. “Camping is very cheap and gives one access to all the ‘hotspot’ holiday destinations in South Africa. Many people do not know that there are campsites in Kruger National Park where a couple pays R250 a night for a campsite. Now, this is worth it! Money that is saved from accommodation can then be used for activities to entertain loved ones,” Hlatshwayo concludes.
Another partnership initiative undertaken by South African Tourism is Gogo’s on Tour, specifically designed to provide elderly people the opportunity to travel to local destinations and enjoy the beauty of South Africa, its people and vibrant culture.
Furthermore, the partnership will help improve the livelihood of approximately 1000 senior citizens from all nine provinces, from October 2016 until the end of March 2017. This further enforces South African Tourism’s vision to create an accessible tourism environment in South Africa, and to subsequently contribute to the economic development of the country.
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