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Why tourism is the golden nugget of SA's economy
On 27 September annually, the globe's travellers and tourism stakeholders celebrate World Tourism Day with the primary objective to nurture the importance and create awareness amongst the internationally community on tourism, its social, cultural, political and economic value.
The United Nations (UN) has made provision for the world to celebrate this day in order to draw attention to the tourism industry that could potentially contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an initiative that addresses some of the most demanding challenges that society is faced with on a global scale.
This year, in SA, a campaign with the theme, #TourismForAll was launched to coincide with World Tourism Day.
It highlights the need for accessible tourism and emphasizes the need to construct environments in such a way that it caters for everybody... those with permanent and temporary disabilities, families, kids and the elderly, should all be able to benefit from the tourism sector.
Most importantly in South Africa, tourism needs to be accessible to all by being affordable. And this year, various South African tourism stakeholders vowed to open access to make tourism possible for all South Africa.
SANParks recently opened all national park gates to South Africans, whereafter CapeNature in the Western Cape followed suit in the annual Open Access weeks.
All of this was in line with the #TourismForAll campaign, unveiled by Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom at the beginnig of SA's tourism month.
Although Hanekom admits that there is still a lot that can be done to open tourism to all South Africans, he says that we have come a long way to ensuring accessibility and affordability to locals.