The Tourism Department hopes to boost South Africa’s domestic tourism statistics from the most recent estimated seven million to upwards of 17 million by 2020.
This approach has come about as government’s recent economic growth path labeled tourism as being among the list of primary markets that can assist the state realize its economic goals and objectives for the country.
The department recently showcased its overhauled 2011 leg of the widely recognized Sho’t Left advertising and marketing campaign, through which it intends to commit in excess of R30 million in a combination of road trips and advertising campaigns geared towards rallying local communities behind the brand South Africa.
Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, who had been giving a presentation during one of the road trips in Limpopo, proclaimed that domestic tourism continued to be the backbone of his department’s intentions to contribute in excess of R500 billion to the GDP 2020.
Domestic tourism is considered the most significant contributor to South Africa’s tourism volume and is also responsible for 79 percent of all tourists in the country.
The Sho’t Left advertising and marketing campaign is an element of government’s total tourism strategy and the concept will be to showcase the culture of tourism among South Africans, along with the emphasis focused towards the small and the least frequented regions.
“For all of us, investing in domestic tourism continues to be our fundamental goal. Domestic tourism is without a doubt our backbone and the government has finally begun to understand and appreciate the function and importance of this sector plus it currently forms part of the new growth path,” van Schalkwyk said.
He in addition reported a positive increase in domestic figures for 2010, with noticeable rises when it comes to duration of trips undertaken along with the money spent on holidays when compared to the previous year.
“For the very first time in a great many years, we have observed growth within critical areas which include frequency, overall spend along with the length of stay,” stated the minister.
Well over 13.5 million individuals undertook a domestic trip during the last year, with an average of 2.2 trips per traveler. This has been a small improvement when compared to the 2.1 annual trips per traveler undertaken in 2009.
Despite the fact that the department registered less domestic travels in 2010, the boosts in spending along with the frequency of traveling indicated that South Africans were definitely beginning to “grasp” the culture of travel.
Authorities suggested despite the fact that total annual spend on domestic tourism was in fact down from R22.4 billion recorded in 2009 to R21.1 billion, they were enthusiastic as a result of the surge in spending to 31 percent last year when compared to 22 percent in 2009.
This has been to some extent linked to the excitement as a result of the Soccer World Cup, as individuals were very likely to have been motivated to fork out a whole lot more on a number of luxuries and entertainment.
The excellent news for the holiday accommodation industry is the fact that total annual nights spending on establishments for domestic travel escalated to well over 130 million in 2010 compared with 124 million the previous year.
Having said that the minister maintained that despite the fact that the trend in domestic tourism figures had continued to be in the upward direction over the year, the difficult task would be to turn this into a “tangible” opportunity for job creation and economic growth.
In accordance with the government’s new growth path and emphasis on job creation, South Africa Tourism intends to improve upon the current R199 billion contributed by the sector towards the GDP to approximately R500 billion by 2020.
“All of us need to make certain that it leads to job creation at the same time encouraging us to accomplish economic growth simultaneously,” he added.
SA Tourism CEO Thandiwe January-Mclean at the same time pointed out that investing in domestic tourism will certainly form part of the organisation’s future growth plan, adding the fact that the strategy was to showcase all nine provinces, even those located a long way away from the coastline as well as other popular tourist sites.
“We will need to make it possible for South Africans to travel their country and become tourists within their own country, and for us to accomplish this we will need to inform them that something beautiful exists in all provinces,” she said.
Source: BuaNews, mediaclubsouthafrica.com, ushouldvisit.com,