September is Tourism Month: Here's what you need to know

2017-09-04 11:22 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - September is Tourism Month, not just in South Africa but with the United Nations World Tourism Organization setting the agenda for the promotion of domestic tourism in 2017.

South African Tourism is firmly on board with Tourism Month 2017 aiming to highlight why all South Africans should not only travel their own country more but that overall it can benefit every individual - as tourism has been pegged a viable economic growth opportunity and job creation industry.  

SEE: #WeDoTourism: How every South African plays a role in the tourism sector

Through its #WeDoTourism campaign, South African Tourism aims to get all South Africans excited about being ambassadors to for country - reminding them of the importance of the tourism industry and the role they can play as advocates for South Africa.

“It’s about sensitising every single South African to understand that they play a role towards tourism,” says SA Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona.

According to Ntshona, the purpose is to show the economic and social value of tourism in South Africa. “Tourism has a ripple effect. Each direct permanent tourism job opportunity that is created can have multiple spin-offs for transport, agriculture and other sectors.

Regional economic boost

Similarly tourism has become a vital part of Durban's regional economy, with Tourism Month kicking off across the city with the ever"-popular Shisanyama Festival. On Saturday September 2, Eyadini Lounge in uMlazi played host to a crowd of over 5 000 shisanyama fans who enjoyed local flavors and lifestyle. 

Phillip Sithole, Acting DCM and Head of Durban Tourism says that one of the core messages this tourism month is aimed at developing sustainable tourism, therefore initiatives such as the Shisanyama Festival positively stimulates the local tourism and small business value chain - especially when it comes to township tourism development.

Key focus on sustainability

Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde also kicked off the Western Cape programme for the month, focusing on water savings in the tourism sector for the drought-stricken province. 

The Western Cape has currently instituted Level 5 water restrictions as the rainfall season in the province is set to draw to a close, with dams sitting at a stark 34,2%  - with useable water at 24,2% last week. Collective consumption is at 599 million litres of water per day.  Emphasis has been placed on curbing excessive water usage across the province. 

SEE: Cape’s water crisis: Tourism sector continues to raise awareness

Winde says, “Tourism Month is an opportunity for our destination to showcase the diversity and high quality of its offering. This is a sector which draws millions of tourists to the Western Cape, creating work opportunities and generating revenue in our economy."

Added to this, Winde says through the efforts of industry and its Project Khulisa, tourism in the Cape has seen a surge which has lasted through the winter season.

"I’m optimistic that it will play an ever growing role in our economy, and in line with this year’s theme of tourism as a development tool, we’ll be taking this month to highlight success stories of entrepreneurs in this space," he adds. "We'll also be looking at sustainable and responsible practices being pioneered by hospitality establishments, especially in this time of pressure on our natural resources."

SEE: #TourismForAll: 4 Boosts planned for SA's tourism growth

Winde will visit the Sunsquare City Bowl hotel on Monday 4 September, which is part of the Tsogo Sun group's water savings practices.  

Cape Town things to do this Tourism Month: 

  • Tsogo Sun’s water savings programme

Date: Monday, 04 September

Venue: Sunsquare City Bowl, 31 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town CBD

Time: 12:30

  • First Thursday focus on tourism products in partnership with Wesgro

Date: Thursday, 07 September

Venue: 142 Long Street, Cape Town CBD

Time: from 17:00 onwards

  • Khayelitsha-based Airbnb entrepreneurs growing tourism through tech

Date: Monday, 11 September

  • Opening of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa

Date: Thursday, 14 September

  • Provincial Lilizela Awards

Date: Tuesday, 19 September

  • Journey to Service Excellence awards

Date: Tuesday, 26 September

Durban things to do this Tourism Month: 

  • Essence Festival Durban

Date:  26 September to 1 October 2017, 

SEE: Durban Essence Festival: Catch the best of local and international talent

  • Mrs Universe Pageant – Durban ICC  

Date: 2 September 2017

  • Coca Cola Bunny Chow Barometer

Date:  3 September 2017 – Blue Lagoon

  • 18th Jomba Contemporray Dance Experience

Date: 1 – 3 September at UKZN 

  • Mercury Wine Week 

Date: 1 September – Greyville Convention Centre 

  • Durbane Spring Break – uShaka Marine World – Wet & wild  

Date: 2 September 2017 

  • Bafana Bafana vs Cape Verde – Moses Mabhida Stadium

Date: 3 September 2017 

  • Durban Port Festival

Date: 9 – 10 September 2017 

KwaMashu Heritage Festival

Date: 24 September 2017

ECR Concert Comedy Craft Festival – Botanic Gardens 

Date: 25 September 2017 

World Tourism Day

Date:  27 September 2017 

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