28 August 2013

It’s a new era for domestic tourism in South Africa

Tourism Month 2013 launches with the focus firmly on fun, easy, affordable breaks

Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk

“Last year’s tourism growth definitely confirms that our investment in tourism promotion and campaigns are bearing fruit. South Africa’s tourism growth rate, that’s well above the global growth rate, justifies the need to celebrate tourism. This industry contributes 2.9 percent directly and nine percent overall to our GDP.” Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism

SOUTH AFRICANS are invited to escape the daily grind of day to day living, and become a nation of fun-seekers this September.  The National Department of Tourism, and South African Tourism, today introduced a new domestic tourism campaign directed at growing the number of domestic travellers in our country.

At the official launch of Tourism Month at Amazingwe Lodge in the North West this morning, National Tourism Minister, Mr Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, said excellent tourist arrivals growth of 10.2 percent in 2012 had made South Africa an exceptional global destination whose arrivals growth consistently tracked higher than the worldwide average. It had put the destination firmly on track to reach its target of being one of the 20 top destinations in the world by 2020.

At the start of Tourism Month celebrations this morning, the National Minister unveiled a new domestic tourism marketing campaign:Nothing’s More Fun than a Sho’t Left that emphasises the fun of a domestic leisure getaway, and that encourages South Africans to take short breaks.

Nothing’s More Fun than a Sho’t Left brings the fun back to travel. It reminds South Africans that taking a holiday, even for a night or two, gives benefits that endure: great memories, quality time with loved ones, well-deserved escapes from dull routine, and a chance to experience new places, new people and new things.

The campaign also offers a number of holiday packages: deals that have been engineered in partnership with South African Tourism’s travel trade partners to deliver the fun, easy, accessible and affordable holidays that Nothing’s More Fun than a Sho’t Left promises.

Festivities at the start of Tourism Month this morning in the North West Province included an appearance by Dr Malinga (described vicariously as a muso, a kick dancer, and a total attention grabber) who literally kick-started the month-long celebrations with his entertaining Malinga Dance, encouraging people to break away from repetitive routines this September, making the most of the glorious spring weather.  He encouraged people to hit the road and discover the millions of fantastic experiences South Africa offers travellers... the experiences down the road as well as the experiences right across our wonderfully diverse country. 

Nothing’s More Fun than a Sho’t Left features Dr Malinga as he takes a group of friends (with his infectious sense of fun and cheerful love of life) around the country, experiencing the beauty, friendliness and awesomeness that South Africa offers tourists.

The television commercials, that flight from the beginning of September, show the group road-tripping around South Africa, making spontaneous stops to take in the scenery, local hospitality and flavours, and enjoying everything from taking a shower under a waterfall to having a relaxing beach braai as the sun sets over the ocean. This is exactly the kind of fun, fantastic activities that domestic tourists can indulge in... and exactly the kind of activities that are extremely affordable and within reach.

 “In 2012,” Minister Van Schalkwyk said, “12.5 million adult South Africans took 25.4 million trips and spent an average of 4.8 nights away from home per trip.

 “Last year’s tourism growth definitely confirms that our investment in tourism promotion and campaigns are bearing fruit. South Africa’s tourism growth rate, that’s well above the global growth rate, justifies the need to celebrate tourism. This industry contributes 2.9 percent directly and nine percent overall to our GDP.

Nothing’s More Fun Than a Sho’t Left, leverages the hugely successful Sho’t Left campaign that was in market up to the end of 2011. This, the freshest phase of the campaign, works to instil the sense of lifetime value that comes from taking regular breaks.

It replaces the Vaya Mzansi campaign that was in market in 2012. “Vaya Mzansi did a good job,” Minister Van Schalkwyk said. “But it was limited in its reach and in components of its message. Market research found that we needed to up our messages of value, accessibility, and the sheer fun of a South African holiday. As a result, the Nothing’s More Fun Than a Sho’t Left campaign was born.”

Tourism Month festivities are focussed on North West Province this year as the Minister and other tourism dignitaries joined journalists and members of the travel trade to celebrate some of the fantastic experiences that this province offers all tourists. Activities that the group partook in included the exhilarating Magaliesberg canopy swings and slides; quad biking at Hartebeespoort, river rafting, water pistol battles and hot air ballooning.

There was a strong slant on water-based tourism activities to reflect the United Nations World Travel Organisation world-wide theme: Tourism and Water, Protecting our Common Future. Activities were arranged by 2011 Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year (ETEYA) winner, Kagiso Legobe whose extremely successful career and business in tourism was born out of his passion for the great outdoors and the adventure that open spaces and a pristine environment offer in South Africa.

Minister Van Schalkwyk said Tourism Month 2013 would herald a new era for domestic tourism in South Africa. “It’s an era in which the whole nation will get out there and experience the fun and sheer wonder of a South African holiday.”

To take advantage of great special offers this Tourism Month and to get involved in the fun, infectious Nothing’s More Fun than a Sho’t Left campaign; follow @shotleft on Twitter; tweet the #NothingsMoreFun hashtag; go and like shotleft on FaceBook; visit the www.shotleft.co.zawebsite; or log onto the mobisite: http://m.shoftleft.co.za.

Ends

For further information contact

National Department of Tourism

Trevor Bloem

Email: TBloem@tourism.gov.za

Tel: 012 444 6000

Ministry of Tourism

Melene Rossouw                                                                               

Email: mrossouw@tourism.gov.za                          

Tel:  021 465 7240

South African Tourism

Thandiwe Mathibela at South African Tourism      

Tel:+27 82 5520979                                       

thandiwe@southafrica.net                                 

Websitewww.southafrica.net

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