By Staff Reporter
As the Travel week starts on the 5-11 September annually Minister for Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu in Cape Town launched the week in line with Tourism month as she invited media houses from nine provinces to spread the word as she said
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the launch of Tourism Month, 2022. As a country, we celebrate Tourism Month annually in September, to highlight and bring to the fore the importance of the tourism sector, its contribution to the South African economy and the potential it has to transform the trajectory of our country” say’s Sisulu.
“This is also the month that we host our annual domestic campaign, Sho’t Left Travel Week, to encourage South Africans to travel and explore their country at discounted rates. We do this by partnering with tourism trade, to negotiate the best rates for South Africans, making tourism accessible to them.
We are encouraging South Africans to travel domestically to get a better understanding of the affordable, exciting and world class attractions that are available on their own doorstep. It also serves as an opportunity to promote domestic tourism and create a culture of travel amongst South Africans.
Tourism Month is in line with our country’s vision to ignite inclusive economic growth, sustainable job creation, and transformation, which are all critical for our industry and we need to aim to continue with our collective efforts in driving this.
This is part of the National Development Plan, which recognises tourism as one of the main drivers of the economy” said lengthy Tourism Minister.
Tourism Month aims to generate awareness of the enormous contribution that the tourism industry makes to provincial and national economic growth and job creation.
“Looking specifically at where we are in the Western Cape, according to Wesgro in its Tourism Research Overview July 2022, the top 5 highest year-on-year growth rates in July 2022 for the Western Cape were recorded for Robben Island, Cango Caves just outside Oudtshoorn, Table Mountain National Park: Boulders, Viljoensdrift River Cruise and Table Mountain Aerial Cableway.
We are also seeing a significant increase in domestic spend. Local demand for travel has surged following the easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions and removal of travel bans. Many of our small tourism businesses that struggled during the travel restrictions benefitted from the spend we are seeing now.
We can all be proud of the domestic tourism performance to date, which is a result of various factors including our marketing efforts and meaningful collaborations with the trade.
I would like to thank all South Africans who continue to heed the call and choose to explore their country. Thank you for contributing meaningfully to sustaining the sector during the most difficult period” Sisulu thanked South Africans for their immense contribution in domestic travel.
In the first half of the year, South Africa recorded year-to-date international arrivals of 2.3 million. This is an increase of 147% when compared to the same period in 2021. Africa land markets are still the key driver of arrivals into South Africa, having contributed over 1.7 million tourist arrivals between January and June 2022.
During the same period, January and May 2022, tourist arrivals from the European market increased by 563%, to over 356 000, when compared to the same period in 2021.
“Many decades ago Nelson Mandela disguised himself as a chauffeur, a gardener or a chef, which allowed him to move around the country unnoticed by the apartheid security police, and he went under the name, David Motsamayi and Motsamayi means ‘one who travels’ in Sesotho. Now we are all free to be a David Motsamayi in our newly found freedom following the lifting of travel restrictions. Explore those wide open spaces that South Africa has in rich abundance or visit our villages and small dorpies throughout the countryside or enjoy a lifestyle event in the crisp clean air” said Sisulu.
There are many sporting events coming up which offer the perfect opportunity for a day out or weekend away. The recent Comrades Marathon saw over 13,000 runners who took on the ultimate human race and families, friends and people from all over the world actually went to attend and support the athletes. Not only does this boost our tourism it is wonderful for the camaraderie and feeling good about our great country.
“SA Tourism together with the national and provincial tourism departments is working very hard to encourage South Africans to travel domestically to get a better understanding of the affordable, exciting, and world-class attractions that are available on their own doorstep. This is why South African Tourism is running the Sho’t Left Travel Week campaign, which encourages South Africans to travel and explore their own backyard through discounted deals.
Most of you would know that ‘Sho’t left’ comes right out of the taxi industry lingo and symbolises that entrepreneurial spirit and let’s-do-it culture our tourism and hospitality sector is known for.
Sho’t Left Travel Week, dubbed “the Big SA Sale” starts tomorrow, 5 September, and goes all the way to 11 September. The week is packed with great travel deals, with airlines, hotel groups, tour operators and tourist attractions offering discounts of up to 50%. Travel Week deals must be bought during this week but can be redeemed at any other time though this does depend on the partner’s terms and conditions.
Sho’t Left Travel Week is a robust response to the lack of access and affordability to travel for many South Africans.
This initiative was designed to give South Africans access, in a bigger better way, by addressing the affordability challenge they face. This becomes a wonderful incentive especially for first-time travellers looking for new destinations and adventures.
For our trade partners, Sho’t Left Travel Week is one of the most significant tourism marketing opportunities in the country. We would like to thank each and every single member of the trade and the various product owners for putting together the incredible packages that have made Sho’t Left Travel Week possible once again. Your continued support means that many more South Africans can access their country and they can go out and enjoy it.
Members of the public can access deals through Waze, the Sho’t Left map, or by using the price, location, budget, and type filters on the Sho’t Left website – and watch the media for more great let’s-do-now travel opportunities” say’s Minister.
In conclusion”I would like to encourage all South Africans to use this Tourism Month to go out, have fun and explore their surroundings but also to join in the festivities in all nine provinces as we not only celebrate tourism month but Heritage month as well.
To quote the famous author and South African-born, JRR Tolkien,
“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.”
Let’s revive that spirit of adventure and launch those dreams we all have you will discover something wonderful that I can guarantee.