Pro­mot­ing Do­mes­tic Tourism in South Africa

Tourism Tattler - - EDITORIAL -

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.

Go to South Africa!

to find great des­ti­na­tions to visit all over

Im­age cour­tesy of Groot­bos Pri­vate Na­ture Re­serve

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