ED’S LET­TER

go! - - Contents - PIERRE STEYN [email protected]­dia24.com

Peo­ple love to travel, even if it’s to far­away and ex­pen­sive des­ti­na­tions. The global tourism in­dus­try is es­ti­mated to be worth more than 7 tril­lion dol­lars. That’s a 7 with 18 ze­ros at­tached to it. If I had to con­vert that amount into rands and write it out, the ze­ros would prob­a­bly fill this page. France, the world’s most pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion, re­ceives more an­nual vis­i­tors (82 mil­lion) than it has cit­i­zens (67 mil­lion). Even in South Africa, tourism con­trib­utes mas­sively to our econ­omy. Out of ev­ery 23 peo­ple who work in the for­mal sec­tor, one is em­ployed by the tourism in­dus­try. There’s noth­ing wrong with sav­ing up and trav­el­ling over­seas – it’s the spice you add to life that makes it bet­ter. But while we were busy with this is­sue, I re­alised again how lit­tle I ac­tu­ally know about South Africa, and how en­rich­ing it is to wan­der around right here at home. I’m specif­i­cally re­fer­ring to Cape Point. I have a vague mem­ory of vis­it­ing the na­ture re­serve as a pre-schooler with my par­ents: It was so windy, my dad didn’t even take out his Nikon FM to snap a pic­ture. This was an un­heard of oc­cur­rence, since he thor­oughly doc­u­mented most of our fam­ily his­tory on 35 mm film. Then… blank. It took me nearly 40 years to re­turn to Cape Point, even though it’s just around the cor­ner from where I live. It’s like liv­ing in Nel­spruit and never vis­it­ing the Kruger! This was a few years ago – I re­turned to the re­serve to hike the Cape of Good Hope trail with my fam­ily. To this day, it’s one of the best things we’ve done to­gether. I’ve been back a few times since – for the fea­ture on p 50, but mainly be­cause there’s so much to see and do. Yup, you don’t al­ways have to fly via Dubai to ex­plore the world. The ex­otic des­ti­na­tion you crave is right here, in your back­yard.

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