Travel

#TourismMonth19 launched in the magnificent Drakensberg

Last Friday I was fortunate enough to join media from all over South Africa in the breathtaking Drakensberg area for the official launch of #TourismMonth19.Drakensberg is indeed on the beautiful jewels in the crown of KwaZulu Natal and was indeed a perfect setting considering this province boosts two World UNESCO Heritage Sites.

Media teams from around South Africa were hosted by SA Tourism and KZN Tourism for four days in the picturesque Drakensberg for #TourismMonth19.Drakensberg is one of the best all year round destinations in South Africa.Offically named a UNESCO World Heritage Site ,the uKhalamba Drakensberg has the largest and most concentrated series of Rock paintings in Africa making it a cultural and heritage site.The uKHalamba Drakensberg is Africa’s highest mountain range South of Kilamangaroo.It stretches from the Eastern Cape forming the border between Lesotho and Eastern Cape and Lesotho and Kwazulu Natal.A destination that is great to relax,unwind and find adventure. I will be sharing more on the activities we got up to.

The official media launch for #TourismMonth19 was hosted at Drakensberg Sun with the majestic mountains as the backdrop of the garden setting.

In attendance were all stakeholders in Tourism including Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane ,MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs,Deputy Minister for Tourism, Mr Fish Mahlalela and Speaker of Uthukela District Municipality Cllr Strydom.

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane emphasised that tourism has the potential to boost South Africa’s economic growth and improve job creation, which requires an inclusive tourism sector.
“The creation of jobs and business opportunities is in line with South African Tourism’s ‘We Do Tourism’ movement, which aims to make tourism everyone’s business as this industry intersects every area of our lives. It gets the whole country to rally behind the tourism industry, through demonstrating the far-reaching impact of the tourism value chain,” she said.
The theme for this year’s World Tourism Day is “Tourism and jobs – a better future for all”, which highlights the tourism sector’s vast capability to create jobs and therefore reduce the country’s unemployment rate. We remain confident that tourism will contribute to our country turning to positive economic growth desired by our government and also contribute to more jobs to its maximum potential
 She highlighted the importance of Tourism Month as a means to both South  Africans and visitors from outside the country’s boarders  to travel and experience our country’s diverse offerings.
In March this year, a World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) report stated that South Africa has the largest tourism economy in Africa having indirectly contributed 1.5 million jobs (9.2% of South Africa’s employment) and R425.8-billion in 2018. It also indicated that the sector accounts for 8.6% of the country’s GDP.

For me what I took away from the #TourismMonth19 launch :

1.Tourism is for all South Africans with a focus on the youth and the pensioners.

2.Travel must not only focus on high end holidays but budget friendly options.

3.Crime is going to be addressed as it is a factor that discourages Tourist to visit South Africa.

4.We need to market South Africa to the Asian and Middle East markets.

5.Promoting South Africa as a choice destination for local and international travellers is my responsibility.

6.Technology needs to be used effectively so that travellers can better informed and simple things like paying can be done via an app which prevents things like theft.But with all this access to technology becomes greater and people need to become skilled in making Techology their friend.

7.Tourism is the one industry that can create jobs for many unemployed South Africans.

8.Dispell the myth that Tourism is not a real job,we need to educate and encourage people to enter the fields of Hospitality and Tourism.Around South Africa there are TVET colleges which offer Tourism courses which NSFAS bursaries are offered.

9.Domestic and local travel markets are just as important as the international market.

Ever since returning home to South Africa in 2010 after living abroad for several years I have returned home in awe of the beauty that is South Africa.South Africa is truly a destination that all travellers local and international must add to their travel bucket lists.If you needed some convincing check out this post I wrote on South Africa. I love exploring locally and finding hidden gems in my city.And my role as a Tourism lecturer and a blogger is to share my South Africa with the world and encourage others to explore,eat and experience my beautiful country.After hearing the Minister speak I am excited about the future of Tourism in South Africa.

Tourism Month is celebrated in the same month that the UN World Tourism Organisation celebrates World Tourism Day, which falls on September 27th each year. Tourism Month falls in line with South Africa’s vision to ignite inclusive economic growth, sustainable job creation and transformation which are all critical for the industry.

 

The Sho’t Left Travel Week will be held between 23 and 29 September 2019, and will present great travel deals, with airlines, hotel groups, tour operators and tourist attractions offering discounts of up to 50. These deals must be bought during this week but can be redeemed at any other time depending on the partner’s terms and conditions. www.shotleft.co.za.

So make sure you check out the site and start planning your South African Holiday Adventure.If are looking for some local ideas check these posts out :

Durban

Brahman Hills

Fordoun

Bayala

Tala Game Reserve

Images supplied by KZN Tourism

Be Inspired !

Ciao

 

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