#TourismMonth2020 – Yesterday, South Africa joined the globe in celebrating World Tourism Day with festivities at Maropeng’s Cradle of Humankind in the western corridor of the Gauteng Province.

World Tourism Day is a United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) initiative observed annually on 27 September to highlight the sector’s contribution to the socio–economic development of nations.

Rural Development and Tourism

The theme for this year’s celebration was ‘Rural Development and Tourism which aims to highlight the significance of domestic tourism market in reigniting the sector, especially in spearheading tourism in lesser-visited rural communities.

“As they navigate a path to recovery, and gradually re-open our borders to safely welcome international visitors, The Tourism department urges South Africans to travel and explore their country responsibly,” said Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. 

SA Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.
SA Minister of Tourism, Hon Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

The tourism industry is one of the largest economic sectors in the world – creating jobs, driving exports, and generating prosperous local economies.

Inclusive and Sustainable growth

The UNWTO’s May 2020 extended scenarios on tourism growth predict that the market will rebound in mid-2021 based on assumptions of a reversal in the evolution of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Minister Kubayi-Ngubane said she remains hopeful that South Africa’s domestic market would have gained strides in recovery, providing an amicable environment for inclusive and sustainable growth.

“Our authentic heritage and cultural experiences have been a drawcard for international visitors for many years. Although a large number of employment opportunities have in the past been driven by international tourist arrivals, The tourism department believes that these jobs, and those yet to be created, will be sustained by the renewed strength of their domestic tourism markets.”

“I encourage you to explore your country, embrace your heritage and help us re-build our local economies to usher in the benefits we envisioned when we fought for our democracy,” concluded Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.

The Cradle of Humankind hosted a day-long global event that featured internationally-acclaimed and award-winning DJ, Black Coffee, who entertained global fans with a unique two-hour set from the Sterkfontein Caves that was broadcast live on DSTV Channel O. The electrifying Busiswa and Master KG concluded the celebrations in style inspiring attendees to hit the dance floor in response to President Cyril Ramphasa’s call to join the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge.

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Pat Mahlangu

Thokozani Pat Mahlangu is the editor of Pat on Brands and the founder and CEO of Lerato Agency. He is internationally certified digital marketing professional and an Mcom Business Management graduate from the University of Johannesburg.

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