Support local and be a tourist in your own country, says Tourism Deputy Minister
Thursday, 25th March 2021
One of South Africa's focus areas is the development of tourism in rural communities and particularly less visited parts of the country that have a wealth of unique and authentic experiences said Tourism Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela. He was speaking at the launch of the Basic Quality Verification Pilot Programme that was launched in Makhanda recently and attended by local tourism product owners.
He urged South Africans to become tourists in their own country. “We must change the mindset of focusing on international markets. You must know your own country.” He said the only way we can know South Africa is to mix with the people, cultures and activities of the unique regions we visit. “Then you can say I know South Africa.”
Eastern Cape was chosen to be a pilot project for the Basic Quality Verification Pilot Programme to formalise rural and township homestays into the hospitality industry. Mahlalela said homestays must be lifted to a certain level and be graded to meet particular standards so they too can be exposed to a larger pipeline of tourists and travellers that are keen to try out new, unique and authentic experiences.
Mahlalela also made mention of poor infrastructure which was a challenge to the sector which he said needed to be addressed for the sector to recover.