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South African Tourism has used the 2017 Tourism Indaba in Durban as a launch pad for its ‘I Do Tourism (IDT)’ campaign.

I Do Tourism is an initiative that seeks to remind South Africans of the importance of the tourism industry and the role citizens can play as advocates for South Africa and for tourism.

The purpose of the campaign, according to SA Tourism, is to show the economic and social value of tourism in South Africa.

President Jacob Zuma and Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa officially launched I Do Tourism on Tuesday at the Indaba being held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

On Wednesday, Minister Xasa engaged with industry leaders at an event held at Southern Sun Elangeni in Durban. The event afforded the Minister an opportunity to share her vision for the sector and to encourage industry leaders to work together on the initiatives that will make tourism inclusive and sustainable under the I Do Tourism banner.

“We are looking at diversifying the sector and creating an environment that is conducive for the growth of the sector and inclusive for the creation of an economy enabling new entrants. Processes are underway to finalise our National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS).

“As the government, we have an opportunity to turn the economy around, and we need your input as drivers of this sector. We appreciate the work that the industry is doing and it has contributed positively to GDP and created employment opportunities.

“We also appreciate how you have embraced the Executive Development Programme (EDP) for Women in Tourism. The women who enrolled in the programme will be graduating soon and this could not have been achieved without you,” Minister Xasa said.

Chair of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), Tito Mboweni, thanked the Minister for making time to engage with industry players. He invited the Minister to further engagements on issues that affect the industry.

“Tourism is a robust and exciting industry that drives economic activity. We need to take full advantage of this and ensure that issues pertaining to safety and security, tax levies and government regulations that infringe on how the industry does its work are addressed,” Mboweni said.

The CEO of TBCSA, Mmatsatsi Ramawela, lauded the department’s efforts to continuously engage and consult with the industry and reaffirmed the industry’s commitment to work with the government in advancing the industry.

“On behalf of my colleagues in the industry, I reaffirm our commitment to support you as you fulfil your mandate as the Tourism Minister.

“We rally behind the I Do Tourism campaign, and look forward to further engagements with you as we grow tourism,” Ramawela said.

Share your tourism story

I Do Tourism will showcase members of the industry and provide a space for them to share their stories.

However, I Do Tourism is not only aimed at potential domestic tourists and tourism advocates. SA Tourism is also aiming to motivate industry members to keep up their good work, and to remind government and other stakeholders of the importance of supporting the industry.

P.S. What is your opinion regarding the Say I do to Tourism initiative from the SA Government? If you do something to contribute positively to tourism in Ndlambe you may also send your story to The Announcer for publication at no cost. Our email address is info@theannouncer.co.za

Image: Darryl Kukard – Port Alfred

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