Tourism Month Activities for Nelson Mandela Bay Residents

BY SUPPLIED - SEPTEMBER 2, 2014

World Tourism Day is celebrated annually on the 27th September with the global objective of highlighting tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic values. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) theme for 2014 is Tourism and Community Development - focusing on the ability of tourism to empower people and provide them with skills to achieve change in their local communities. For South Africa this theme is direct to the mandate of the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) and South African Tourism have opted for Tourism month 2014 to be about, “Tourism Transforming lives”.

Ms Mandlakazi Skefile NMBT CEO shares, “Tourism month is the ideal time to further extend our reach to locals as ambassadors and tourists in their own destination by sharing the value of the tourism culture through experiences amongst them as ordinary South Africans.”

Tourism is one of the largest contributors in building a sustainable future for all. Tourism represents 9% of the global GDP and 1 in 11 jobs worldwide. Locally in Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism in 2013 contributed over R5.2 billion and sustained over 37 thousand jobs. A sustainable tourism destination leads to an ideal destination to not only visit but to live and work in as well.

In order to transform lives through tourism it has been noted by the, Minister of Tourism, Minister Derek Hanekom that community based tourism is really important as it involves the local population in the decision making process according to their needs and priorities. Community based tourism is important in creating job opportunities and to empower people with skills to achieve within the local communities.

NMBT CEO, Ms Skefile confirms, “We will stand by our national mandate to assist in this important role of job creation as per the National Development Plan (NDP) where tourism is identified as one of the six growth pillars of the country’s economy.”

“As a local you are able to participate and maintain a sustainable tourism destination”, says Ms Skefile. “This can be done just by visiting your local attractions and activities or supporting community based tourism projects such as the Freedom Tour run by local tour operators.

Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism is launching a calendar of events for locals to participate in during Tourism Month which shares just how easy it is to participate and contribute. These activities include local hiking trails such as the Aloe Trail Hike which will take place on the 6th September and the Island Nature Reserve Hiking Trail which you can be explore on 18th September. Additional highlights include South African National Parks week where SA Citizens are able to visit Addo Elephant National Park for a free day visit from the 8 – 12th September and the Heritage Day Freedom Festival which will take place on the 24 September. For more on these and other events visit the events calendar on www.nmbt.co.za

NMBT encourages you to celebrate World Tourism Day and month 2014! Get involved just by visiting local attractions you are strengthening tourism locally. You can do this by utilizing The Nelson Mandela Bay Pass, a smartcard access card, which provides you with free admission to a variety of attractions and activities in Nelson Mandela Bay. This includes amongst others museums, game reserves, scuba diving, art galleries, sightseeing tours and many more. It also entitles you to some great discounts at selected stores for shopping, activities, entertainment and more. The Nelson Mandela Bay Pass offers flexibility, convenience, variety and savings.

Photo caption: SIGHTS TO BEHOLD... Local residents are encouraged to get involved just by visiting local attractions - such as the Boardwalk pictured here, and strengthening tourism locally.