#TourismMonth2018 - The picturesque backdrop of the rolling hills where former President Nelson Mandela spent his childhood set the scene as South Africa celebrated World Tourism Day at Luchaba Nature Resort in Mthatha – Eastern Cape Province.
More than 600 community members from the OR Tambo District and surrounding villages joined tourism stakeholders to celebrate World Tourism Day and the socio-economic and environmental values it accrues for the country and the globe.
Credited as the country’s premier adventure and adrenalin destination, the Eastern Cape Province offers a unique tourism experience of memorable cultural and adventure offerings. Whilst the province continues to enjoy steady growth of tourism, Eastern Cape MEC for Tourism Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane believes more can be done for the sector to stimulate local economies, promote community beneficiation, and further diversify its product offerings.
“Tourism is integral to our province. We will continue to invest in tourism to improve the livelihood of our people.”
“We are gathered now at Mthatha dam, which is a viable tourism attraction. We will ensure that it is adequately developed so that it both benefits tourists and our local community,” said MEC Mabuyane.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), more than 1.3 billion people have travelled around globe, and it anticipated that these tourism numbers would increase as tourism grows on the African continent.
“Our domestic tourism numbers have been relatively low, but we are confident that through economic recovery and the stimulus package announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa we can turn the tide and make tourism a significant contributor to our growth aspirations, and the achievement of our short term economic recovery targets and development goals.”
“More than 1.5 million people are currently employed in the tourism value chain, and our sector presents a plethora of opportunities to create more jobs and entrepreneurs,” said Minister Hanekom.
The World Tourism Day Celebrations took place aptly in the Eastern Cape as the country celebrates the centenaries of two struggle stalwarts from the province - former president Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu.
In celebration of their legacies, South African Tourism initiated the Sho’t Left Travel Week from 24 – 30 September 2018 that features discounted deals that include iconic tourism destinations that touched on the lives of the two stalwarts.
“This travel week, South African’s will have an opportunity to cash in on great travel discounts across the country from close to 300 service providers. This is the Black Friday of travel deals.”
“I encourage all South Africans to take advantage of these deals and take a Shot Left to explore our beautiful country,” said SAT CEO Sisa Ntshona.
World Tourism Day is a UNWTO event that is celebrated annually on 27 September throughout the globe. The 2018 celebrations were themed “Tourism and the Digital Transformation,” and sought to highlight the value of domestic tourism and the role of digital transformation in growing an inclusive and sustainable tourism economy.
Visit www.tourism.gov.za for more on the World Tourism Day Celebrations in the Eastern Cape.
Mr Blessing ManaleChief Director Communications and Departmental SpokespersonDepartment of TourismTelephone: +27 (0) 12 444 6607Cell: +27 (0) 66 487 8867Email: firstname.lastname@example.org