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Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality launches Tourism Month 2019

Sep 2, 2019
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality launches Tourism Month 2019

Port Elizabeth - The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) in partnership with Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) and the Mandela Bay Development Agency on Monday officially launched Tourism Month activities at the Donkin Reserve Lighthouse in Port Elizabeth.

Tourism Month is an annual celebration focusing on the importance of tourism to the national economy, job creation and domestic travel in South Africa.

Annually, the month sees local tourism partners encouraged to highlight initiatives aimed at stimulating specifically domestic travel and encouraging locals to become ambassadors for the city.

As September is also Heritage Month, the focus of the activities is on local tourism and heritage assets.

Emphasising the economic spin-offs of tourism, NMBM Executive Mayor, Cllr Mongameli Bobani, stated: In 2018, the estimated direct impact of tourism on Nelson Mandela Bay alone was almost R5 billion, sustaining around 26 389 tourism jobs in the city.

And, of course, tourism has a multiplier effect on the economy. In 2018, the total direct contribution of tourism to the GDP of the city was a staggering R9.2 billion!

NMBM MMC for Economic Development, Tourism & Agriculture, Cllr Marlon Daniel said: This year the global theme for tourism month is Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all. It is important for our communities to understand the value of tourism to our city, not just in terms of the economic impact, but also in terms of job creation.

It is therefore imperative that government looks at improving infrastructure and product development that will lead to an increase in jobs but also works on reducing barriers to tourism, such as improving destination access (transport), cleanliness and safety. We also need to collaborate more with the private sector in promoting the destination and make it easier for them to do business in the city.

NMBT Chairperson, Shuan Fitzhenry, called on all stakeholders to work together and remain committed to overcome the challenges faced by the city.

"NMBT is planning a strategic session during tourism month that will look at bringing together key stakeholders to identify and prioritise necessary tourism interventions in the metro. Our intention is to work hand-in-hand with metro officials to rebuild our tourism assets so that tourism in Nelson Mandela Bay can live up to its promise, so that our industry can create much-needed, meaningful jobs, and so that all of us who love this metro can enjoy its spaces and assets and take pride in our home. We believe that NMB should be SAs destination of choice. It certainly could be."

Acting City Manager, Mr Anele Qaba, said: In line with the theme for this year, the Municipality has employed 30 tourism ambassadors and 60 tourism heritage site cleaners for this current financial year, adding to the over 300 employed in the last financial year.

In 2018, the estimated direct impact of tourism on the city was almost R5 billion, sustaining around 26 389 tourism jobs in the city. The impact, however, does not stop there, as tourism has a multiplier effect on the economy of the city. The total direct contribution of tourism to the GDP of the city was R9.2 billion in 2018.

The Municipality we will also be educating local learners and frontline staff on the importance of tourism and what Nelson Mandela Bay has to offer visitors in terms of its tourism products. We want to convert them to become ambassadors for the city and highlight the opportunities that tourism can offer them.

Some of this year's initiatives include a group hosting of celebrities, leveraging on their stardom to create additional destination awareness and appeal through the content that they generate from their destination experiences.

Added an excited Lihle Dlamini, who is the Chief Marketing Officer for ECPTA: September is the designated month in which provincial partners are encouraged to highlight initiatives aimed at stimulating domestic travel. Educating Eastern Cape locals about the destination's tourism offering and enticing them to take a break by offering great deals is the focus of the Tourism Month plan for 2019.

ECPTA initiatives to drive and stimulate domestic tourism include the Eastern Cape Educational Academy Mega Familiarisation Tour; Nature Reserve Open Days; and a Tourism Month Newspaper campaign to mention a few.

The annual #ShareTheBay exhibition will be exhibited at the Donkin Reserve, adding value to the existing visitors experiences there, showcasing the best photos of the city taken by locals. Free entry to the Donkin lighthouse for the month of September will be another value add for visitors to the exhibition. This forms part of the open-day activities (open days will allow visitors to access the attractions at no cost).

On World Tourism Day, 27 September, a variety of initiatives is planned, such as a clean-up of Central tourism sites, Route 67 Amazing Race, Bay Chefs Competition and the announcement of the outcome of the #ShareTheBay exhibition.

For a full line up of events taking place during Tourism Month visit www.nmbt.co.za

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