South Africa is open to tourism, whether you hail from Paris or Parys. The move is a much-needed reopening for a beleaguered industry left reeling by the impact of lockdown and the muddled reopening of international tourism which has caused much confusion.
The announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa and subsequent release of gazetted regulations allowing inbound international tourism from all countries provided the requirement of a negative PCR certificate gives the tourism industry the certainty it needs to start recovering lost ground.
While many competitor destinations will remain closed for the foreseeable future, tourism in South Africa has been given the green light to operate in full with stringent health and hygiene protocols in place to safeguard the wellbeing of staff and guests.
As South Africa prepares for its annual summer festive season, the South Africa is Travel Ready Collective has launched an innovative campaign to inspire consumers to buy experiences instead of things to reconnect with yourself your friends and family.
If you are going to spend money, look into experiences offered by tour operators. Whale watching, guided hiking, a nine-course dinner or gin tasting, a tailored trip to the bushveld. Those are the things that create memories with loved ones, and support the tourism and hospitality sectors at the same time.
‘After a tough year, consumers are looking for ways to escape and reconnect meaningfully with others. A 20-year study by Cornell University shows how investing in experiences over things delivers ‘enduring happiness’ as you are able to break out from your everyday routine, try something new when you travel,’ says Natalia Rosa, MD Big Ambitions, a member of the South Africa is Travel Ready Collective.
In addition to experiences being a bigger part of identity than material goods, investing in experiences supports the tourism economy which has been hard hit by COVID and holds one of the greatest potentials for reigniting South Africa’s economy.
‘What’s more, with the variety of experiences at different price points on offer, there really is something for everyone. The tourism sector has worked hard to de-risk itself with stringent health and hygiene protocols making it safer to travel than visiting the supermarket,’ says Rosa.
South Africa is Travel Ready is launching a social media and marketing campaign featuring available tourism experiences in South Africa across a range of categories. #ExperiencesNotThings will be featured on the traveltosouthafrica.org landing page with all the information of what’s on offer and how to book it directly with the experience provider.
There will also be exciting competitions run throughout the campaign. For more information, contact [email protected].
‘If you’re lucky enough to have spare cash this festive season, please consider steering clear from throw-away décor items for your festive table and put food on someone else’s table instead by supporting the tourism sector. Besides, if all you want is time out of your house, there’s an experience on offer to deliver it,’ concludes Dionne Collett, Director, Take Note Reputation Management, a member of the South Africa is Travel Ready Collective.