September is Tourism Month and this year the campaign, run by South African Tourism focuses on domestic travel, aptly named Nothing’s More Fun than a Sho’t Left.
Tourism Month is about shining the spotlight on South Africa as a tourist destination and encourages locals to be tourists in their own country. Sho’t Left is derived from everyday South African taxi lingo when a commuter wanting a ride to a destination close by will ask the driver to sho’t left, meaning he wants to get out around the corner. With a focus on fun, affordable travel in South Africa, the campaign emphasises the fun of a quick road trip or self-drive getaway as well as encouraging locals to take short breaks around South Africa.
Van Schalkwyk announced that tourist arrivals grew by 10.2% in 2012 and had made South Africa an exceptional global destination whose arrivals growth rate was consistently higher than the worldwide average. At this rate, South Africa is firmly on track to becoming one of the top 20 destinations in the world by 2020.
By bringing the fun back into travel, locals are reminded of the benefits of getting away, even if only for a night or two. Making memories, quality time with friends and family, a break from routine and a chance to discover new and exciting places in and around South Africa are all great reasons to pack the car and hit the open road and discover the millions of fantastic experiences South Africa offers travellers… It really is all about the lifetime value.
At the official launch of Tourism Month 2013 at Amazingwe Lodge in the North West on Wednesday 28 August, National Tourism Minister, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk said that in 2012, 12.5 million adult South Africans took 25.4 million trips and spent an average of 4.8 nights away from home per trip.
He went on to state that in South Africa more people are employed in the tourism sector than in the mining and automative industries, highlighting the importance of domestic travel. Spending money in South Africa is not only good for the economy but it’s also great for job creation and sustainability within the tourism sector, highlighting the importance of responsible travel.