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Tourism, an example in transformation:
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Cedric Offline
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Tourism, an example in transformation:
INTRODUCTION:

As a tour operator I believe the Tourism Industry could lead the transformation and Economic Freedom initiative, mainly through the fact that they are not over regulated, and we would only need to adopt a mindset change as we investigate the NEW SA TOURISM potential.

How do we transform in the interests of attracting more local and international tourism?

There was great increase in our tourism industry as we moved into our New Democracy in 1994. This encouraged us to meet the desire by the international community to visit our historical struggle history, and many of our new sites are focussed on this interest group.

The danger that this market sector is faced with, is that the interest of the new generations will soon decline, just as our youth have little understanding of our historical heritage.
   
Secondly, we as an industry continued to follow the pre-1994 type of products that we were selling, focussing on the wealthy market, buoyed up by the favourable monetary exchange rate.
   
Our experience as Taste of Africa over that past eight years has introduced us, as white South Africans, to the magic energy of Africa that we would travel to other parts of Africa to enjoy, yet we are very much part of that magic.

Having successfully gone through a peaceful transition into our New Democracy, we now not need to consider the option of the road less travelled, giving consideration to the South Africa that is not part of the ‘Western/Colonized/White’ mindset of what we believe the international traveller would like to experience.
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 
--        Robert Frost 
 

The Tourism Industry has contributed to the developing of the emerging tourism and accommodation industry, however, in general the financial support has mainly been made in the area defined by the western standards and grading.

As a crazy unhlungu I have interacted with many participants in this sector, and in general they will tell me how often, honest visitors would express their disappointment at finding a typical Sandton Guest-house in an area where they expected to experience Africa. Senior regional participants will relate how disappointed they are that our Tourism Industry did not open their culture to the International Visitor where they, as an indigenous group, would have had greater impact on the market.

In South Africa, we are inclined to encourage our local indigenous groups to provide accommodation and food that  satisfies the western international culture, at the expense of providing the many different experiences around our indigenous cultures.

Taste of Africa’s prime aim when commencing business was to open the doors to local tourists to visit our Township and Rural areas, an integral part of creating social cohesion. From the Cape, to Limpopo, our International Visitors sleep with families in home-stays adjacent to the tourist sites and activities. All these initiatives are aimed at getting South Africans to participate.

SA Tourism and Kruger National Park Support:

Taste of Africa would like SA Tourism and the Kruger National Park to consider supporting the Villages outside the Punda Maria, Orpen and Numbi gates to provide home-stay for international and local visitors.
An initiative promoting the home-stay opportunities will open the doors to visitors to experience the Kruger Park even when the Park’s accommodation is full.
I have stood at a receptions area where South Africans have been referred to expensive resorts just outside the gate, either because they are running late, or there is no accommodation available.

Initially we will use our support structures available, but soon the community will take over. Soon, children who have left the village to find income will be able to return to compete for the business.

The potential for the development of the communities is unlimited.

With the support of SA Tourism, South African and International visitors to the Kruger Park could be accommodated in home-stay’s in the Village that are located within a few kilometers of a Kruger Park gate. Soon, like when arriving at a port in Croatia, you will find local village woman offering accommodation alongside the main road to the Kruger Park.

The Kruger Park is already feeling the impact on their accommodation as the world economy impacts on the money available for the international visitor to spend.
   
In addition to this, we need to market the use of public transport that will allow international and local visitors to access the Kruger Park though the Village accommodation experience. Emilie Cabiron, a twenty-nine year-old French visitor has just completed a ‘solo’ seven day visit, using local bus and taxi transport, commencing and ending in a Soweto home-stay, with five nights in Villages outside the Kruger Park, enjoying six game drives and a day on the Panorama Route. This public transport will permit visitors, particularly those who prefer to travel solo, to access every corner of our country.

All we need is a change in mindset away from the restrictive grading and expensive standards that we have based our industry on.

SUMMARY:

Tourism is the Industry that has the greatest potential for creating employment.
To-date we look towards luxury hotels and lodges as the major source for employment creation, and as the impact of the international financial pressures mount on the tourism industry, these luxury establishments will be the first to shed employees.

The time is ideal for us to create employment through the development of SMME’s in the industry, which can only be done if we remove the corruption and restrictive standards that drive our industry.

Let us take the road less traveled.

   
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.    -- 
     
Robert Frost   


Cedric de la Harpe






(This post was last modified: 01-20-2013 04:49 PM by Cedric.)
10-29-2012 11:08 PM
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