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Date: 03 May 2012
Title: South Africans encouraged to explore their country
Pretoria - Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has called on South Africans to explore their own country and experience the beauty that lures millions of international tourists here.
Van Schalkwyk was speaking in Cape Town on Wednesday where he launched the new Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy, which includes South African Tourism's new domestic marketing campaign under the tagline "whatever you are looking for, it's right here in South Africa".
"Here in South Africa, we have breathtakingly beautiful scenery, a treasure trove of cultures to explore, and fascinating people to meet. We have wonderful cities, which offer some of the best urban leisure experiences in the world.
"We have variety and diversity. We have outstanding and capable tourism infrastructure. The rest of the world comes to enjoy the offerings that are available to us on our doorstep. Our message to South Africans who seek world-class destinations to relax in, have an adventure in and to explore is that they will find what they are looking for 'right here in South Africa'," he said.
The new Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy has widened its scope beyond the young and upcoming segment of South Africa, which was the chief focus of SA Tourism's successful Sho't Left campaign.
It now addresses a wider range of target consumers either to stimulate the desire for travel among groups who do not have a holidaying culture, or to encourage those who travel abroad to take their leisure trips in South Africa.
The new domestic tourism campaign roll-out will include a series of television, radio and outdoor advertisements addressing five key market segments with a focus on the country's nine provinces, including special offers, stories about exciting things to do, and recommendations from South Africans about where to go, how to get there and what to look out for on the way.
The new Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy is in further response to the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) announced last year. In terms of the NTSS, the department aims to reach 54 million domestic trips by 2020 as well as ensure that domestic tourism contributes 60 percent of tourism's overall contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
"The strategy aims to increase domestic tourism revenue, expand domestic tourism volume, enhance efforts to address seasonality and equitable geographic spread of domestic travel, and entrench a culture of tourism among South Africans.
"It centres on innovation, stakeholder participation, and the offering of authentic, affordable experiences and packages that meet the needs of all potential local travellers," said van Schalkwyk.
Although there was optimism in the South African tourism industry, the minister said the economic climate remained tough and demanded a new way of thinking.
"We need a collective, robust approach by all in the industry to grow domestic tourism and to sustain that growth. We need to build strong partnerships for continued growth, for job creation, and for domestic tourism to grow its contribution to the economy," he said.
Meanwhile, the minister said a total of 26. 4 million domestic trips were taken in 2011 against 29.7 million in 2010.
However, the number of adult South Africans who travel domestically grew to 13.9 million, three percent more than the 13.5 million who took domestic trips in 2010.
In 2011, the average spend per domestic trip grew to R780 per trip (from an average of R710 per trip in 2010).
The minister said, while trip numbers have declined, it is encouraging to note that more South Africans are travelling for leisure purposes. - BuaNews