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South Africans urged to explore their own backyard

Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has called on South Africans to travel domestically to get a better understanding of the affordable, exciting and world class attractions that are available on our own doorstep.

“It also serves as an opportunity to promote domestic tourism and create a culture of travel amongst South Africans,” Sisulu said.

Speaking at the launch of Tourism Month in the Western Cape, Sisulu said the country celebrates Tourism Month to highlight and bring to the fore the importance of the tourism sector, its contribution to the economy and the potential it has to transform the trajectory of the country.

“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,” Sisulu said.

Sisulu explained that Tourism Month aims to generate awareness of the enormous contribution that the tourism industry makes to provincial and national economic growth and job creation.

“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.”

The Minister said South Africans supported and sustained the tourism sector when the world was not coming.

She added that domestic tourism has been leading the sector’s recovery.

“This recovery is evident in the domestic tourism performance figures for the first half of 2022, with holiday trips increasing tremendously.

“Domestic travel figures have exceeded 2019 which is really fantastic and in the first half of the year, South Africa recorded over a 100% increase in domestic trips compared to the same period in 2021.”

The Department of Tourism recently put out the Draft Framework for Community Participation in Tourism (FCPT) for public comments and is in the process of finalising it.

“The FCPT in line with the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, emphasises the importance of developing and reinforcing domestic, regional, and local tourism that is inclusive and prioritises community well-being.

“The objective is to ensure that tourism provides maximum benefit to communities where tourism serves as a catalyst.

“The goal of this FCPT is to guide the department, provincial tourism departments, and other key tourism stakeholders in their efforts to encourage community participation in the tourism sector and, as a result, to increase the positive impact tourism can have on local economic development and community quality of life,” Sisulu said. – SAnews.gov.za

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