Minister says SA needs affordable tourism experiences

Posted on 16 September 2020 By Anita Froneman

Many South Africans are facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 and lockdown. And while our borders remain closed, the struggling tourism industry looks to locals for help to revive the sector.

According to Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Government is pleased to detect a surge in demand for local travel. ‘Since we moved to level 2, we have seen an upsurge in demand driven by domestic travelers. We believe with proper messaging and targeted marketing the domestic demand can reignite the sector and put the tourism industry on a growth trajectory and put our recovery on firm footing,’ she said in her briefing at the National Press Club on September 4.

South Africans need affordable tourism experiences, Minister says

The travel industry is looking to cash-strapped locals to revive the sector.

Tour operators and establishments should make their packages more accessible to the local market, Kubayi-Ngubane said, and added the perceived needs and wants of the average post-lockdown traveller.

‘Owners of establishments, that is the supply side of the market, has to be adaptive and meet the needs of the domestic,’ she said. The following characteristics were outlined to provide the sector with a clearer picture:

  • Travellers want attractions and tourism activities with strict adherence to the health and safety protocols
  • They are yearning to travel to escape the lockdown and discover previously undiscovered local attractions with renewed appreciation of local culture, history and nature
  • They are yearning large open spaces with adventures
  • Most importantly, they are also looking for affordable travel packages in which they can take their families and friends and have memorable experiences

This was echoed by CEO of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona, who said he foresees the recovery of the tourism sector being led by domestic tourism, ranging from outdoors activities to inter-provincial trips and overnight stays, reports Mail & Guardian.

For this to be feasible, the industry must meet its potential supporters halfway by veering from traditional internationally-aimed prices and adapt to the reality of South Africa’s current economic crisis.

Image credit: Unsplash   

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