Let's take pride in SA, tourism

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa has called on South Africans to take pride in their country and promote tourism.

Minister Xasa also called on people to promote or expose their heritage and culture to tourists when they visit South Africa.

Speaking at the World Tourism Day celebration on Wednesday in Kanyamazane in Neilspruit, Mpumalanga, Minister Xasa said tourism is not only about viewing animals, buildings and beaches, but it’s about creating friendships.

“We would like to encourage South Africans to tour their country,” Minister Xasa said.

Minister Xasa said South Africans should also take pride in their country since it is the only country in the world that has the Big Seven (lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, shark and the whale).

“South Africa has what other countries do not have, we should take pride in our country and what we have,” the Minister said.

According to the Minister, the localised theme for Tourism Month is, “We do Tourism Sustainably through our economic, environmental and social business practices and initiatives”. 

People around the world celebrate the United Nations’ (UN) World Tourism Day, which is on September 27 each year.

The day aims to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic values.

Tourism has experienced continued growth and deeper diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world.

Celebrated in line with the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the day was dedicated to exploring the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Jemina Msiza, a local business woman in Kanyamazane, told SAnews that World Tourism Day was a huge boost to her business and she was glad the day was celebrated in her province. “I am happy because for me it means good business,” she said.

Msiza was one of the locals who showcased her beadwork at the celebrations. Most of her clients are tourists from other provinces.

Another pleased businessman was Moses Mabena who was excited that the Minister was visiting their area and encouraging people to take pride in their country.

“Government must create more opportunities for us to take part in the tourism sector,” he said.

The event was attended by among others, MECs, the provincial leadership, municipal representatives and local traditional leaders.

Guests from different villages were entertained by traditional dancers, among other things. – SAnews.gov.za

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