Eastern Cape tourism also growing in popularity

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The faces of SA. On the right, Minister Derek Hanekom, minister of tourism.

NewsHorn’s price winning senior journalist, Tumelo Waga Dibakwane, was once again invited to travel with a select group of  media members on Tourism Day and reports on the event and shows that our magnificent Mpumalanga is not the only top tourism province in SA. (Although Lowvelders will never believe this!)

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 in the 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 accrued for the country.

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 for the sector to stimulate local economies and benefit the community, and further diversity its product offerings.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), more than 1.3 billion people have traveled the 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 stimulus package as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa we can turn the tide and make this market 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 with discounted deals that include iconic tourism destinations that touched on the lives of the two stalwarts.

 

World Tourism Day is a UNWTO event that is celebrated annually 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.