Locals urged to tour country
MINISTER of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk has launched a plan that seeks to increase the number of domestic tourists to 18 million by 2020.
Van Schalkwyk unveiled the Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy in Hout Bay, Cape Town, yesterday. The idea is for South Africans to experience what millions of international tourists enjoy every year.
The strategy includes SA Tourism's new domestic campaign under the tagline "Whatever you are looking for, it's right here in South Africa".
Included in the campaign is a mobisite www.vayamzansi.com, Facebook and Twitter handles called vayamzansi, where local tourists will get information about the campaign and places they can visit.
A budget of between R35-million and R40-million has been set aside for the campaign and the figure will be increased.
Domestic tourism contributes 70% of tourism volumes and injects R70-billion into the economy while creating jobs.
In 2011, 26.4 million domestic trips were taken against 29.7 million in 2010.
The number of adults who travel in the country grew by 3%, to 13.9 million in 2011. The average spent per domestic trip grew from R710 in 2010 to R780 in 2011.
Van Schalkwyk said the strategy was developed through a consultative process over a period of eight months.
"The targets set in the Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy in terms of the GDP are to contribute 60% to the overall tourism economy by 2020.
"With regard to adult domestic travellers, we are on 13.9 million and seek to increase this to 18 million by 2020," he said.
Van Schalkwyk said his department hoped to grow business tourism by 10% by 2015.
"Our Sho't Left campaign has worked well, but the time has come to dial up a notch and to cement a culture of travel among all South Africans. With the new campaign, we are giving consumers an emotional reason to travel. Travel enriches you, it has emotional benefits and it is investment in yourself," he said.
"We are asking people to travel, to reconnect with themselves, with the people they love, to meet new people and make friends, to relax and to reward themselves for their hard work," Van Schalkwyk said.
There will be television and radio commercials and outdoor advertising to get the message across.
Thulani Nzima, SA Tourism's chief executive, said most of the provinces were privy to what was launched yesterday because they had been part of the process.
"The role they are going to play will make sure that each province encourages people to go out and discover what attractions there are and sell them to the citizens.