Tourism Month 2018

Tourism Month is celebrated annually in September, and provides a heightened month-long focus on the importance of the sector to the South African economy. 

Tourism Month features themed activities that are aligned to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day Celebrations that take place annually on 27 September.

The 2018 UNWTO theme for World Tourism Day is Tourism and the Digital Transformation, and it highlights the need for increased investment in digital technologies to create an environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism. 

South Africa has adapted the UNWTO theme to Inclusive and Quality Growth of the Tourism Sector Through Digital Transformation, to encourage travellers to explore the country, whilst fostering an awareness of the socio-economic benefits of technological advances in creating opportunities to improve inclusiveness, community empowerment and efficient resource management in the sector. 

This year’s Tourism Month activities are hosted in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Province – the birthplace of former President Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu. As we celebrate their centenary and legacy, we encourage all travellers to take a Sho’t Left and visit the sights connected to these great icons.  



The NTCE provides a platform for the sector to create awareness about tourism careers and prospects, whilst offering the youth and unemployed graduates an opportunity to interact with potential employers. Deputy Minister of Tourism Ms. Elizabeth Thabethe, along with the MEC of Tourism in the North West Province Ms. Desbo Mohono and Acting CEO of CATHSSETA Ms. Keitumetse Lebaka will brief media about the NTCE that will take place from 28 to 30 September 2018.  

Event details:
Date: 06 September 2018
Time: 10:00 – 14:30
Venue: Taung Hotel School – North West Province


Enter the Share Your World of Tourism competition and win a Sho’t Left experience. Use hashtag - #IDoTourism and post a picture or video of you enjoying a tourism attraction or cultural experience in your area, and tell us why you think it is an ideal Sho’t Left experience for potential visitors. Sign-off your post by telling us which destination you would love to take a Sho’t Left to in the Eastern Cape. Winners will be announced on World Tourism Day on 27 September 2018.  

Competition details: 

Competition Duration: 03 – 25 September 2018 

Follow and Tag the Department on the following social media platforms to enter the competition: 
Facebook: @Department of Tourism; Twitter: @Tourism_gov_za; Instagram: departmentoftourism_; YouTube: TourismRSA

Hosted by Minister Derek Hanekom, the 2018 Tourism Public Lecture will explore how digital transformation is affecting the demand and supply of tourism services and products with a special focus on small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).  The lecture will also touch on opportunities provided to tourism through technological advances.

Event details:
Date: 18 September 2018
Time: 09:00 – 14:30
Venue: Walter Sisulu University (Mthatha) – Eastern Cape Province


The Department in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (DEDEA), and the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) will host the World Tourism Day Celebrations on 27 September 2018 in the Mthatha – Eastern Cape. 

Event details: 

Date: 27 September 2018
Time: 09:00 – 16:00
Venue: Luchaba Nature Resort (Mthatha) – Eastern Cape Province

This ground-breaking initiative by South African Tourism will see a host of trade partners, airlines, hotel groups and tour operators offering generous discounts during the week starting 24 September 2018. This initiative underpins the strategy to give South Africans access, in a bigger better way, to the breadth of South Africa’s tourism offering than ever before. 


Date: 24 – 30 September 2018
Website: visit for great holiday deals 

The Department in collaboration with Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) and North West Tourism will host the 2018 NTCE. More than 7000 learners from all over the country are expected to descend to the North West Province to attend the expo themed Tourism and the Digital Transformation.

Event details: 

Date: 28 – 30 September 2018
Time: 09:00 – 16:00
Venue: Sun City Resort - North West Province


Event details
Summary and overview
​Date and Venue
​Tourism Month Campaign​
​Drive tourism awareness and destination brand awareness.
Event Objective: Promote culture of travel and increase number of visitors to KZN and raise tourism awareness
​13 September 2018;
Sani Pass Hotel in Underberg
​ ​Lilizela Tourism Awards
​Celebrating service excellence in the tourism industry.
Event Objective: Recognising best of the best in the tourism industry
​13 September 2018;
Sani Pass Hotel in Underberg
​School Awareness Programme

​Tourism students educational tour and information sharing workshop.
Event Objective: Tourism awareness and capacity building
​05 – 07 September 2018, Zululand District, Ulundi

​Digital transformation & tourism workshop/seminar
​Platform to deliberate on digital innovation for tourism operation
Event Objectives: 

Share innovative approaches to tourism operations

Digital transition tourism
  • Provide inclusive growth & development in tourism
  • Business operation – technology improve business operations
Accessing using innovative ways
​Date is still to be confirmed
Venue: Durban University of Technology, Durban

Mpumalanga​ ​
​Event details
​Summary and overview
​Date and venue
​Media Launch

​Dinner hosted by the MEC of DEDT MEC S.E Kholwane will officially launch the Tourism Month. At the launch MTPA will announce to both the media & trade, the activities that have been planned for the month of September​22 August  2018
​Trade Digital Marketing Workshop
​The workshop will be held as part of Mpumalanga’s ongoing support to facilitate digital marketing training to Trade. 
This will bring provincial industry players on par with global trends in terms of digital marketing because the state of digital marketing within the Tourism sector as well as the interest of Trade towards online marketing is very limited.
​August 2018
​Mpumalanga Jazz Festival
​The 2nd Mbombela Jazz Festival has been launched in March 2018, this is hosted as part of promoting Mpumalanga and attract domestic tourist both leisure and business travellers.​08 September 2018
​Lilizela Awards
​These are awards aimed at honoring tourism players and businesses that work passionately to deliver a world-class product and service, and whose delivery grows South Africa’s global destination competitiveness. Building up towards the National Awards Ceremony the Province has been tasked to facilitate the process to Maximize participation and host a Provincial Ceremony.​07 September 2018
​Launch of the Bushbuckridge Tourism Route
​The aim of this route is to encourage the participation of historically disadvantaged communities bordering the eastern part of Bushbuckridge, which are the rural communities, in tourism through route development. Draft itinerary of the route will be presented on the day of the event. This route is part of the bigger plan to develop and promote rural tourism.​September
​Provincial Tourism Day
​Celebrating Tourism month and creating awareness on business opportunities that exist in the sector and how they can benefit and encourage locals to travel within the province. On this day MTPA will recognize and celebrate tourism month with the local community and spread the importance of digital transformation in the tourism sector.  It will also serve as a platform to promote responsible Tourism and the world tourism theme.22 September 2018
​Beer Festival
​The Annual Badplaas Beer fest is a 2-day family festival with live entertainment, flea market, German & other food stalls, beer tent and craft beer. The event has over the past attracted approximately 2000 guest over the two-day period in which it is hosted. Local crafters will be invited to exhibit local manufactured products to be displayed and sold to attendees. This event contributes immensely towards the growth of domestic tourism.​28 – 29 September 2018

Gauteng​ ​​ ​
​Event details
Summary and overview
Date and venue
​​Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival
​The festival, which started with a few hundred visitors tentatively trying wines, now attract 10, 000 visitors to the three-night event from across South Africa and the World.
​1 September 2018, Soweto theatre
​​SA Festival of motoring
​The inaugural SA Festival of Motoring staged in 2016 attracted over 51 000 visitors with the undisputed highlight for visitors being the opportunity for on-track test drives and the SA Motoring Experience will increase the opportunity for visitors to get up close and personal with the legendary Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. 
​1-3 September, Allandale, Kyalami
​Launch of Tshwane Food Experience with Somizi
​​Food festival that will see Townships around the City of Tshwane come alive with smells of flavours of a variety of dishes prepared by celebrity chefs and restaunteurs not excluding local street vendors. It will be a celebration of flavours from Ga-Rankuwa, Soshanguve, Mamelodi, Attridgeville and other surrounding towns and townships
in Tshwane.
​September 2018, Tshwane
​Joburg Art Fair
​​The FNB Joburg Art Fair is Africa’s leading art fair focused on contemporary art from the continent and diaspora. Now in its tenth year, it continues to strengthen this position by presenting the finest of contemporary African art alongside memorable exhibitions and groundbreaking initiatives.
​08-10 September 2018, Sandton Convention Centre
​Vaal River Carnival
​Under the theme “Discover the Rhythm of the Vaal”, Emfuleni Local Municipality in partnership with various event s, presents the annual Vaal River Carnival (VRC) from 27th August to the 2nd October 2016.
Jam-packed with 20 spectaculars, thrilling, and fun filled genre of events that fill the 2016 VRC Calendar, Vaal is the place to be! 
​​September, Vanderbijl Park
​Moretele Tribute Concert
​This annual celebration unites South Africans singing and dancing under one cultural umbrella and embracing each other with joy, reverence and passion.​September, Mamelodi
​Standard Bank Joy of Jazz
​20th Standard Bank Joy of Jazz celebrating quality live music, explore and discover new and old stories This event contributes immensely towards the growth of domestic tourism.​28 – 30 September 2018, Sandton Johannesburg
​World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) 2018
​Now in its 27th year, the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) is the leading trade event for the global youth, student and educational travel industry.
Since its inception in 1992 as the annual event of WYSE Travel Confederation, youth and student travel professionals have been gathering annually to trade,network and take part in seminars and workshops.
​27 September 2018, Montréal, Canada
​Gauteng Lilizela Awards
​The annual prestigious Lilizela Tourism Awards for accommodation establishments and other tourism-related products and services will once again toast the best of the best when the provincial awards ceremonies take place in September 2017, culminating in the star-studded national awards function in Freedom Park Tshwane.
The Lilizela Tourism Awards are an initiative of the National Department of Tourism and are spearheaded by South African Tourism.
​​September, venue and exact date still to be confirmed

​Free State ​ ​
​Event details​Summary and overviewDate and venue
​WTD celebrations

​27 September 2018, East London

​Golf Day
​Golf Day to attract players from both corporate & public

​15 September, Clarence, Dihlabeng Municipality

​Clarens Cosmos Challenge-
Spring Edition
​Fun Run and walk​22 September 2018, Between Clarens and Goldengate
​Clarens Distillery Fair​This part of the beautiful Free State Province will host the exciting event to showcase some of the finest distilled spirits that can be found in the country​22 September 2018, Clarence Distillary
​Bi-country Hike Horse Riding & Fun walk​23 September 2018, QwaQwa
​Cultural Food Festival​Experience cultural food​29 September 2018,  Bethlehem, Dihlabeng Municipality
​Witsieshoek Mountain Resort to Royal Natal Hike​Eight Hour Hike​29 September 2018, QwaQwa,
​Lilizela Awards​Awards to tourism products for service excellence
​21 September 2018, Bloemfontein Sovereign Motors Dealership
​Free State Fashion Week
​The fashion week offers up-and-
coming  designers  the opportunity to showcase their work alongside established designers, while also receiving the benefit of a mentorship and guidance on how to grow and improve their businesses.
​20-22 September 2018, Bloemfontein, Windmill Casino
​Newlands Farm Camp Festival​A camp festival for the whole family in Westminster between Tweespruit and Ladybrand.
​28 September 2018, Westminister, Mantsopa Local
​Sthiba’s Spring Festival​A festival that will be held at Naledi Sun Beer Garden featuring one National Dj, 2 National Artist and other local Djs.
​29 September 2018, Thaba-Nchu (Naledi Sun)
​Extreme Motor Racing Championships​14 - 15 September 2018, Welkom
​SA National Motorcycle Super GP Championships​21 – 22 September 2018, Welkom
​Tourism Month Closing Event​Variety of activities
​29 September 2018, Willem
Pretorius Resort
Eastern Cape ​
​Event detailsDate and venue
​Mbizana Tourism Month Celebration​21 September 2018, Alfred Nzo
​Ntabankulu Pondo Festival​11-13 September 2018, Alfred Nzo
​Umzimvubu 10th Annual Month Tourism Celebration​21 September 2018, Alfred Nzo

​Matatiele Tourism Month Celebrations

Uzusithwale Gospel Festival

​7/8 September 2018 or
14/15 September 2018, Alfred Nzo
​Matat2Pont​20-21 September 2018, Alfred Nzo
​T Bone Junior Enduro Series​29-30 September 2018, Alfred Nzo
​EC Highlands Tourism Summit​8 September 2018, Sterkspruit, Joe Gqabi
​Tele Bridge Race Marathon
​22 September 2018, Sterkspruit Arts
and Crafts Centre, Joe Gqabi
​Masibuyeleni'Embo Cultural Festival
​15 September 2018, Sterkspruit Arts
and Crafts Centre, Joe Gqabi
​Eric Nomvete & B&B Awards
​15 September 2018, Sterkspruit Arts
and Crafts Centre, Joe Gqabi
​Heritage Celebrations Botshabelo​15 September 2018, Elundini, Joe Gqabi
Loerie Nartjiefees29 September 2018, Sarah Baartman
​Graaff - Reintet Karoo-lus​28-29 September 2018, Sarah Baartman
​Vintage and Classic Car Show​29 September 2018, Sarah Baartman
​St Francis Calamari Festival​22 September 2018, Sarah Baartman
​Kouga Express Announcement​30 August - 20 September 2018, Sarah Baartman
​Dr Beyers Naude Memorial
Lecture on Sarah Baartman and Dawid Stuurman
​21 September 2018, New Bethesda, Sara Baartman
​Competition on Innovationi on ICT & Tourism Tsitsikama​24 September 2018, Sarah Baartman
​Sundays River Valley
Memorial Lecture on Sarah Baartman and Dawid Stuurman
​21 September 2018, Addo, Sarah Baartman
​University Boat Races Festival​14-16 September 2018, Port Alfred
​Rhino Run​16 September 2018, Kenton on Sea
​Talk of the Town Heritage Day Festival​22 September 2018, Port Alfred
​Ndlambe Heritage Festival​23 September 2018, Nemato
​Raymond Mhlaba Cultural Festival​23-24 September 2018, Alice (Fort Hare), Amathole
​Amahlathi Restoration of Historic Schools Program​13-16 September 2018, St Matthews Resort, Keiskammahoek, Amathole
​South African National Parks Week​10-14 September 2018, Addo Elephant National Park, Nelson Mandela Metro
​Beach Clean-up​19 September 2018,Nelson Mandela Metro
​Instameet - Guided Public Tour​24 September 2018, Nelson Mandela Metro
​Township Tourism Forum​24 September 2018, Nelson Mandela Metro
​Enoch Mgijima Choral Music Competition​22 September 2018, Queenstown, Chris Hani District
​Jazz and Cultural Festival​28 September 2018, Queenstown, Chris Hani District
​Intsika Yethu
Traditional Horse Racing
​14-15 September 2018, Cofimvaba, Chris Hani District
​Chris Hani Heritage Day​29 September 2018, Mlungisi Township, Chris Hani District
All provinces have activities in place to celebrate Tourism Month. Visit their websites to learn more:

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