Unwind, relax, keep safe and do tourism responsibly - that is the message from the Department of Tourism as South Africans welcome the festive season.
"The holiday period is often marred by reports of road accidents, drownings, domestic violence and child neglect.
"We hope that by inculcating a culture of safe and responsible tourism practices, we can contribute to reducing incidents of misconduct and reaffirm our country's competitiveness and attractiveness in offering safe and authentic tourism experiences," said the Tourism department's Deputy Director General (DDG), Lulama Duma.
The department, in collaboration with the V&A Waterfront, Robben Island Museum (RIM), and Western Cape Tourism launched an awareness campaign to encourage domestic and international tourists to practice safe and responsible tourism this holiday season.
Officials from the department, RIM and Western Cape furnished tourists with pamphlets containing contact details of the Tourism Complaints Officer, safety messages and information on responsible tourism practices.
"The holiday season provides an ideal opportunity for us to encourage tourists to travel in a safe and responsible manner.
"The #WeDoTourismResponsibly campaign we rolled-out at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is a first of a number of awareness initiatives that we will be conducting in various provinces, and ahead of all the holidays in 2018," said DDG Duma.
#WeDoTourismResponsibly is an initiative of the Department of Tourism that responds to government's call to encourage safety during the holiday season. According to the Department of Transport, 1 714 fatalities were recorded during the 2016 December holiday period.
The campaign urges tourists to be safe and responsible as they explore the country, to adhere to the rules of the road to ensure safe travel, ensure the safety of children; to reduce their carbon footprint, and to preserve the cultural and environmental aesthetics of our tourism destinations.