By Nosihle Shelembe
Johannesburg — Government will spend R100 million* to market South Africa’s tourism industry, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom announced on Tuesday.
“These marketing efforts will include the continued rollout of the Nothing’s More Fun than a Sho’t Left campaign.
“The campaign, launched at the start of Tourism Month last year, drives home the message that travel in South Africa is fun, an investment in your relationships and yourselves, as well as being both accessible and affordable,” Minister Hanekom said.
He was speaking in Johannesburg during the launch of Tourism Month, which will focus on encouraging South Africans to explore the country.
“We are committed to ensuring that the wonders we boast and the unique heritage we have been endowed with are shared by an ever growing number of South Africans,” Minister Hanekom said.
Last year, domestic tourists contributed R24.3 billion to the economy, up from R21.8 billion spent by domestic tourists in 2012.
According to Tourism Satellite Account statistics, released by Statistics South Africa for the period ending December 2012, direct tourism contribution to GDP was R93 billion or 3% of GDP in 2012, with tourism contributing approximately 617 000 direct jobs in 2012.
The Minister said they will work harder to reach the target of 18 million domestic tourists by 2020, as set out in the National Tourism Sector Strategy. This, he said, could be achieved by making domestic tourism more affordable and accessible to all South Africans.
South African Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima said the country has initiatives in place to develop domestic tourism.
A campaign about the benefits of tourism will be created by South African Tourism. The campaign is aimed at educating people about the accessibility of tourism and it will try to dispel the myth that tourism is for the elite.
“We need to make sure that those that are aware of the need to travel have access to tourism facilities (and) the packages,” Nzima said.
*1 Rand = $0.094 US